SPIRITS SUNK BY POOL NEWS
AS I hurtle through my autumn years one of life’s small pleasures is reading the RFP whilst enjoying my breakfast on a Thursday morning.
My indulgence was marred last week with the headline news that Haslingden Swimming Baths will never re-open (‘Bid to save pool is dead in the water’, October 12) and the article on page 5 which informed us that RBC’s long awaited accounts for 2014/15 have finally been signed off by Grant Thornton, albeit with a damning indictment of an adverse value for money judgement (‘‘Damning’ audit into council’s accounts’, October 12).
The news on the swimming baths is devastating for local people and especially those enthusiastic campaigners who have worked valiantly to restore the facility for the community.
We should not forget that the need for their endeavours ought never to have arisen.
The Labour controlled RBC (under the leadership of Councillor Alyson Barnes) usurped the money specifically borrowed for the sole purpose of building a superb new swimming facility at Haslingden Leisure Centre and used it to purchase the Valley Centre in Rawtenstall, prior to demolition.
In consolation the good folk of Haslingden and Helmshore were promised a booby prize – the restoration of the existing pool and building.
I do not intend to dwell on the circumstances of the delayed audit, the details of which involve the Council appointed, liquidated refurbishment company, AAAW Ltd and the subsequent police investigation.
Suffice to say, this is a humiliation for the people of Rossendale whose elected Labour councillors evidently suffer from the ages old Socialist Disease – running out of other people’s money.
The appropriate and familiar adage “The Buck Stops Here” has been refuted by Ms Barnes, who repeatedly shuns responsibility for fiduciary management.
However, the voters of Rossendale have the ideal chance to do something about it at the Local Elections in May 2019. John H Lowe Bent Meadow House Helmshore