A year into threat hovering over our headland, we are now days from a decision.

Cornwall Council cabinet meet on July 20 and it is expected that they will announce that they are initiating the process to sell-off the headland.

Our community has made it clear that we want Ships and Castles to remain open and that the headland must never be sold-off. So why are they doing it?

In my opinion Cornwall Council and GLL allowed Ships and Castles to run down, whilst money was invested into leisure centres in Newquay and St Austell. I think Cornwall Council and GLL are responsible for the low-levels of usage that were used as evidence as part of their metrics used to justify their closure of the pool.

On that basis, Cornwall Council should be finding money to allow Pendennis Leisure and the community to bring Ships and Castles back to life, whilst alternative options are explored.

Children and people with specific needs are already suffering as a result of the closure of the pool.

Such has been Cornwall Council’s determination to close Ships and Castles, it has felt throughout that the leisure centre was simply an inconvenient community asset that lay in the way of them selling the headland for a capital receipt.

But they’ll give us the money from the sale of headland, right? Not necessarily and in my opinion highly unlikely.

Cllr Richard Pears stated at the beginning of the procurement process that “the headland lends itself to redevelopment to meet other Council priorities”. What are these Council priorities? The people of Falmouth, Penryn and surrounding villages have never been their priority.

Even if another site could be found and the few £million generated by the sale of the headland were given to Falmouth to use toward a new leisure centre, it wouldn’t come close to being enough. So, we would then be reliant upon £millions coming through central government funds such as the Shared Prosperity Fund.

Why leave the loss of the headland and the development of a new leisure centre to chance? With the current political climate and the high likelihood of complete change in the political landscape in Cornwall at the next round of elections, we cannot and must not gamble with Falmouth’s heritage and future.

Falmouth needs a public leisure centre. Falmouth needs the headland to remain for the people. The only way to achieve that is for Ships and Castles to remain open and for the entire headland to be in the hands of our community.

The community is encouraged to attend a show of togetherness at New County Hall from 8am on July 20. It’s likely our last chance to be heard.

Ben Leach

By email