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Leisure centre campaigners in call for help.

Byline: By Katie Norman South Wales Echo

A rallying cry has been made by residents fighting to save their leisure centre and playing fields. Members of Rumney Recreation and Eastern Leisure Action Group (RREL) appealed for volunteers to join their campaign at a packed meeting at Rumney Royal British Legion club yesterday.

The group is fighting Cardiff council's proposals to demolish the leisure centre and build a "community-focused school".

They fear building on the site would take away residents' green space and reduce facilities.

Hairdresser Tracy Johnson, 37, of Llanrumney Avenue, Llanrumney, Cardiff, appealed for people to support the campaign.

She said: "None of us want this to happen so we have to keep trying to save the site.

"We need to keep thinking of ideas of how to save this green for our children , our grandchildren - for all of us.

"Most of us work full-time so we need people to put up placards or write letters on the computer or whatever you can do."

Debate was sparked by the presence of numerous political parties at the meeting, which was attended by more than 100 people. Some residents had previously accused the Socialist Party of hijacking the issue to launch a politically-motivated attack on the council.

Tracy said: "It needs to be about the leisure centre and not about political issues."

RREL has organised a demonstration and sports tournament to highlight their campaign on the Eastern Leisure Centre playing fields from noon, on Sunday. Everyone is welcome.

Christine Foulkes, 60, a manager, of Lynton Place, Rumney, said the playing fields were the "life blood" of the area and encouraged people to think of ways to save the site.

"We're thinking of getting a hot air balloon above the area saying 'save this site'," she said.

"We need to get across to the people of South Wales how much we need to retain this site and the only way we can do it is by continued pressure."

Action group member Don Taylor, 64, of Newport Road, Rumney, said more than 8,000 people had already signed a petition against the council's plans.

He said: "That area is a little oasis in the middle of an urban sprawl.

"It's a part of the people of Rumney and it's important that we save it."

To get in touch with RREL, write to Don Taylor, 852 Newport Road, Rumney, Cardiff, CF3 4LJ.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 19, 2007
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