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Adam Peaty: Uttoxeter MP Andrew Griffiths steps up bid for leisure centre name change

By Uttoxeter Advertiser  |  Posted: August 05, 2014

By Jenny Moody

Adam Peaty 4

Adam Peaty 4

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UTTOXETER'S MP has stepped up his campaign to get the town's leisure centre renamed in honour of gold-medal winning swimmer Adam Peaty.

Andrew Griffiths has written to Andy O'Brien, chief executive of East Staffordshire Borough Council, in a bid to get the Oldfields Road centre named after the 19-year-old who took home two gold medals and one silver at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The council has hinted that if enough people contact the four Uttoxeter councillors, a name change could be on the cards – despite the fact that consultation is over and a decision has been reached to keep the name the same.

Support has been flooding in for the change on Facebook and Twitter.

The MPs letter reads: "Like people across Uttoxeter and East Staffordshire, I am sure you will be as delighted as I am with the success of Uttoxeter's own Adam Peaty at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

"For any swimmer and athlete to win gold medals, plus a silver, at the Commonwealth Games is a sensational achievement, but for someone of the age of 19 to do as Adam has, makes the achievement all the greater.

"While I am fully aware that the consultation on the naming of Uttoxeter Leisure Centre's pool has now closed, I think we as a borough were presented with an opportunity which should simply not be wasted.

"Adam's success has the very real potential to inspire young people across East Staffordshire, particularly swimmers, to either get involved in the sport or raise their game and go that extra length, so we can see even more home grown athletes representing our area on the international stage.

"From central government to local authorities – everyone has a responsibility to ensure the positive sporting boost of Glasgow 2014 is sustained over the coming years.

"Not only would 'The Adam Peaty Leisure Centre' be a fitting tribute to Adam from a proud borough, but I believe it would also inspire young people who could see the importance of getting involved in community sport and pursing their talents as far as they can.

"I would ask that the council gives this matter genuine and immediate consideration because, as I say, we have a unique opportunity here which should not be squandered."

Councillor Robert Hardwick and Mark Rizk, of the borough council, told members of Uttoxeter and District Forum 50 Plus that the authority had not yet discussed the idea.

Councillor Hardwick said: "There has been a campaign on Facebook and Twitter which was started with little thought. It has not been discussed by the council but there are plans to celebrate Adam's achievement.

"I can assure you that plans are being put in place in regards to marking Adam's fantastic achievements – the hard work and the hours he has put in over the years has really paid off.

"I think that his achievement does need to be recognised, and the council will do that along with Uttoxeter Town Council."

The forum also asked if it is a possibility that Mr Peaty would open the new Uttoxeter Leisure Centre, which is due to reopen early next year. But a decision will not been reached on this until nearer the time.

Councillor Andrew Riley has revealed Uttoxeter Town Council is planning to hold a party for Mr Peaty on Sunday.

The plans could see the teenager paraded around the town on an open top bus so residents get the chance to congratulate him.

Councillor Riley said: "A lot of people have been stopping and asking if the council is doing something and I have put it on the agenda for the extraordinary meeting.

"I was thinking of maybe having a bus and then doing a parade so residents can come out and show their support for him. "

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