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Councillor joins Corbyn to oppose trampoline park

As hundreds of five-a-side footballers are turfed out, former community safety chief takes to Twitter to express concern over decision to convert half of courts at Holloway sports hall

11 August, 2017 — By Emily Finch

Councillor Paul Convery: ‘I’m not particularly keen on the idea. I’ve always held that opinion, I just haven’t said it publicly’

A LEADING councillor has joined a growing chorus of voices speaking out against controversial plans for a trampoline park at the Sobell Leisure Centre.

Caledonian ward councillor Paul Convery, the Town Hall’s former community safety chief, took to Twitter on Saturday saying he “urges [a] rethink” over Islington Council’s decision to convert half the courts at the Holloway sports hall into a trampoline park. Work on the project is ongoing.

His intervention came just days after Islington North MP and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called on Town Hall chiefs to “think again”.

Since works started in June, around 500 five-a-side footballers have been turfed out after the park was agreed without a formal consultation. The company which manages the centre, Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), have offered the footballers alternative sites including Holloway School.

Cllr Convery said: “I’m not particularly keen on the idea. I’ve always held that opinion, I just haven’t said it publicly. The deal with the football teams is inadequate. They [the council] had a difficult balancing act with cuts.”

He added: “I’m a sports purist. I’m not sure this trampoline park is exactly what I call sport.”

Cllr Convery led a campaign to save the centre in Hornsey Road from demolition seven years ago and backed the installation of an Olympic-grade wooden floor for volleyball players, which campaigners say the trampoline park will damage.

John Barber, the footballer spearheading the campaign against the trampolines, sent the Town Hall a letter last month saying he is considering seeking a High Court injunction to stop the works.

He is also considering seeking a judicial review on the basis that the Town Hall and GLL should have consulted centre users on the changes.

Mr Barber said he was still in talks with his solicitor about his next step following the council’s response which implied he would have to cover loss of earnings from an injunction.

The Town Hall has said the trampoline park will generate revenue for the cash-strapped authority and double the number of users at the centre.

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