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Squash courts at Elephant & Castle could be reprieved

A Southwark councillor who is campaigning to retain squash courts in the redevelopment of Elephant & Castle Leisure Centre says he is confident that a solution can be found.

Last December we reported on fears that Southwark's only public squash courts could be lost when a new leisure centre, including a much-desired swimming pool, is built.

Earlier this month Cllr Geoffrey Thornton, a Liberal Democrat member for Cathedrals ward, welcomed representatives from England Squash to Southwark to discuss future sporting facilities at the Elephant & Castle. The meeting was also attended by Labour's Cllr Veronica Ward, the council's cabinet member for culture, leisure, sport and the Olympics.

Cllr Thornton asked the council to look again at how squash courts can be kept at the leisure centre. He says that England Squash had some suggestions about multi-purpose courts which can be used for both squash and other sports.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Thornton said: "I am grateful to England Squash, the cabinet member and the council for taking the time to listen to suggestions as to how we protect our squash facilities.

"I am still concerned that we may lose the only public squash courts in the borough, but I remain confident that a solution can be found which retains some courts at the Elephant & Castle.

"I know, from talking to local residents, how popular squash is and I will continue to work with the council in order to encourage a solution."

We invited the council to comment but no response had been received by the time of publication.

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