Sir – The following is an open letter to David Cameron MP and Diana Shelton, head of leisure and tourism at West Oxfordshire District Council. Shame on West Oxfordshire District Council and GLL Nexus.
Having last week pre-booked squash Court 5 at the Windrush Leisure Centre, I arrived yesterday to find that there was no Court 5.
The controversial building work has already begun on courts 1 and 2 (despite the lack of consultation) and I played on the renamed Court 3.
I cannot understand the logic in change of use from squash court to gym facility, nor the financial argument put forward; current gym facilities are under subscribed at peak and non-peak times and financially there are well over 60 regular squash players in the leagues who provide the centre with longer term sustainable income compared to fluctuating gym members.
I have been playing squash at the centre for over 15 years and my children learned to swim there.
I was also a gym member for some months before losing interest. So, I have supported the centre for a very long time.
However, the debacle over the redeployment of the squash courts is the final straw. I cannot see me renewing my membership (it doesn’t renew automatically anyway) and I will be actively looking for alternative squash facilities.
Diana Shelton has said in a response to David Cameron that: “The loss of two courts will take the total number of courts in the district from 10 to eight.”
I am not holding my breath that all or any of these will be convenient for me, or open to new members.
I am very disappointed that such a valuable facility has been mismanaged in such a sensational way and I only hope that other sports will not suffer in the same way as the squash-playing community.
Martin Dines, Church Street, Ducklington