Out­rage over plans to close school pool

Loughborough Echo - - FRONT PAGE - pete war­ring­ton peter.war­ring­[email protected]­plc.com

CHARN­WOOD Col­lege has revealed plans to close its swim­ming pool for good be­cause it is no longer fi­nan­cially vi­able to keep the fa­cil­ity open - and now bor­ough coun­cil­lors have vowed to fight to re­v­erse the move. A let­ter given to par­ents on Tues­day (Sep­tem­ber 3) said: “You will be aware that the swim­ming pool at Charn­wood Col­lege has been a long­stand­ing fa­cil­ity of­fered by the school which sup­ports the cur­ricu­lum at Charn­wood Col­lege Academy and the wider com­mu­nity. The fa­cil­ity is also used by lo­cal pri­mary schools and of­fers a Swim School pro­gramme. “Due to the age of the fa­cil­ity and its gen­eral state of repair, it was nec­es­sary to close the fa­cil­ity for a 6-week pe­riod at Easter for emer­gency tem­po­rary re­pairs to the wa­ter sys­tem. “A sub­se­quent fi­nan­cial re­view of the swim­ming pool fa­cil­ity has found that it is no longer vi­able pro­vi­sion for the academy. The fi­nan­cial re­view has shown that the in­come gen­er­ated from the fa­cil­ity is not suf­fi­cient to off-set on­go­ing in­vest­ments. “Af­ter care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion, the Trust has de­cided to com­mence a con­sul­ta­tion on the pro­posal to de­com­mis­sion the swim­ming pool with a view to the fa­cil­ity clos­ing by De­cem­ber 31, 2019. “The pro­posed timescales are as fol­lows: From Sep­tem­ber 2019 cease Swim School, from Sep­tem­ber to De­cem­ber 2019 con­tinue to pro­vide the fa­cil­ity to lo­cal Pri­mary school users and ex­ist­ing hir­ers. “A for­mal con­sul­ta­tion process with the af­fected staff mem­bers com­menced on Mon­day (Sep­tem­ber 2) for a pe­riod of 30 days. In ad­di­tion and as part of a wider con­sul­ta­tion, we in­vite feed­back and al­ter­na­tive op­tions to this pro­posal from key stake­hold­ers and the wider com­mu­nity. “Fol­low­ing the 30-day con­sul­ta­tion process an out­come paper will be pub­lished with both the af­fected staff mem­bers and the wider com­mu­nity.” The news of the clo­sure has been con­demned on so­cial me­dia with many users call­ing for ac­tion to be taken to stop the clo­sure. One mum posted: “This is the only lo­cal pool to pro­vide one to one swim­ming lessons to dis­abled chil­dren and adults , my son be­ing one of them! He was un­able to ac­cess any other swim­ming lessons and has been taught to swim for the last seven years. For many dis­abled chil­dren and adults this is the only ac­tiv­ity they do a week. It pro­vides so much more than just a les­son. The child in­ter­act with their teacher play with the toys in the wa­ter and for some who are in wheel­chairs to be free in the wa­ter.” Another said: “Ev­ery­one that this is af­fect­ing needs to write to our lo­cal MP Nicky Mor­gan, since this is go­ing to have a detri­men­tal im­pact on the com­mu­nity. We need to do ev­ery­thing we can to save this fa­cil­ity.” Charn­wood Bor­ough coun­cil­lors Paul Boldrin and Dr Julie Brad­shaw MBE have vowed to fight to keep it open. Coun Boldrin said: “The clo­sure of such an im­por­tant fa­cil­ity for schools is likely to re­sult in lo­cal chil­dren not be­ing able to learn to swim and in our schools hav­ing to in­crease trans­port spend when their bud­gets are al­ready un­der great pres­sure.” Coun Brad­shaw, a world record long dis­tance swim­mer, aquatic teacher and coach, added: “I’m in­fu­ri­ated at this pro­posal. I be­gan swim­ming at school at an early age and value my ex­pe­ri­ence as a young­ster very much. It shaped my life and have fol­lowed the ‘wa­ter pas­sion’ ever since. “Swim­ming is an in­valu­able skill in all re­spects – helps save lives, great for men­tal health and phys­i­cal well-be­ing amongst the many ben­e­fits. Charn­wood Col­lege has an amaz­ing pool, which stu­dents can use and chil­dren can learn to swim in. “A swim school has run there for many years – just imag­ine how many young­sters are go­ing to miss out at a time of their lives when they need to be en­cour­aged to swim. “Clos­ing this pool would be an absolute travesty and we need to fight to­gether to keep it open.”

■ Charn­wood Col­lege, Lough­bor­ough. Stock pic of Charn­wood Col­lege, in Thorpe Hill, Lough­bor­ough.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.