With the election of a new executive, the Swindon Liberal Democrats are determined to play an invigorated and active role in Swindon’s political and societal landscape, in that vein we are calling for the council to save and refurbish the Oasis. The Oasis centre has been a pillar of the community for over 40 years, in that time it has served us as more than simply a pool, gym or concert space. It has been central in improving many peoples lives, whether that be by hosting activities for the unemployed or providing the youth of our town with a place to train and hone their skills.
We hear a lot from the conservatives about crime among the youth and the philosophy that through hard work we can improve our lives, and yet the council’s apathy and insincere attempts to save the Oasis would showcase how flimsy this ideology truly is. Without centres such as the Oasis for the youth to hone their discipline and skills in various sports and activities they are being robbed of the very facilities they require to improve their lives.
The simple fact is, the Oasis is a social service and as such should never have been placed in private hands for a 99-year lease. Not to mention how unacceptable such a long-term lease is considering the various needs of the community across such a large swathe of time. A social service that improves the lives of the people of Swindon by providing the youth with activities that may otherwise prevent boredom, foster community and prevent anti-social behaviour also provides that ever important leisure space pivotal to any successful civilisation, as such it cannot be a profit centred enterprise. It is no surprise that Severn Capital and GLL wish to see the Oasis closed, they are only doing right by their profit margin, with little regard for the social impact of their actions.
Therefore, in return it is only right that the council retake the Oasis centre and classify it as a social service that will stand as a central pillar of many communities for years to come. If the current council won’t take such bold action, then it is only right that the people of Swindon elect a new council, led by the Liberal Democrats, one that will be ready, willing and able to act.