Oasis campaigners take fight online

By Barrie Hudson - 4 January 2021


Community campaigners fighting to save Swindon's Oasis and bring it back into public ownership refused to let lockdown stop their latest gathering.

  • Participants were invited to create signs to support the campaign

    Participants were invited to create signs to support the campaign

The local branch of national campaigning organisation ACORN moved the event online in response to Swindon being moved to covid tier 3 and then 4.

Over the Christmas period, supporters were asked to submit pictures of themselves with ‘Save the Oasis’ signs, which were then tweeted out to Swindon Borough Council, Seven Capital and members of the Oasis Task Force.

The virtual day of action took place on the day after GLL surrendered their lease of the Oasis, making it the first day the leisure centre was officially without an operator.

The event followed several others organised by ACORN, including a ‘Day of Action’ at the Oasis which saw supporters leave messages there, as well as a coordinated letter writing campaign which saw around 100 people submit letters to the Council Scrutiny Committee.

ACORN member Gary Green said on the day: ‘We may have had to postpone our physical day of action, but no pandemic will stop us fighting to keep our Oasis open and back in public hands.

"The number of people who took part in today’s event, as well as the thousands who have already signed petitions, joined our last action and written to the council, shows strength of feeling and a determination to campaign for our leisure facilities."

Mr Green added that a recent survey showed local people agreed that the Oasis should be reopened and back in public hands.

He said: "We can win, but we need as many people as possible involved!"

Further information about ACORN can be found at acorntheunion.org.uk

The Swindon branch, active since April of last year, has been involved in several campaigns including a successful one for a crossing on Croft Rd and the prevention of illegal evictions of tenants in the private rented sector.

Swindon ACORN can be reached at swindon@acorncommunities.org.uk  


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