Where is help for Baths?
THE news that the people trying their best to bring Haslingden baths back to life are now being thwarted by vandals is very sad indeed.
What was once an important community facility, and had been for generations, is now an empty shell, and in need of far more support.
Rossendale council caused the closure of the baths, diverting cash meant for a new pool in Haslingden to a fund which helped pay for the Valley Centre purchase in Rawtenstall.
If all goes to plan – and it remains a big if – Rawtenstall’s gain of a hotel, a cinema, a spa, or some new shops will be at the expense of Haslingden’s swimming pool.
Maybe in cold benefit V reward terms it’s a price worth paying.
But when Rossendale council can find the time, and the cash, to support the development of the Whitaker Museum, now thriving as a stand-alone organisation, and Ski Rossendale, where there remains debate about its financial viability, it’s curious they can’t do the same for the baths they chose to close.
Rossendale council’s leadership repeatedly blamed council spending cuts for the decision to close the baths – but it was the decision to transfer the public works loan to the Valley Centre project that did for the baths in Haslingden.
The people of Haslingden have shown that members of their community will come forward and help make the baths a success again – but they too need more help.
Why isn’t that help forthcoming from Rossendale council at a time when other leisure projects are getting the time, attention and financial support from the authority which closed Haslingden’s swimming pool?