Where is help for Baths?

Rossendale Free Press - - The Rossendale Scribbler -

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?

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