GROUP DIDN’T GET SUPPORT
IT was disappointing news to hear that all the efforts and dedicated hard work of the voluntary group who tried to reopen the Haslingden Pool have come to the forced decision to call it a day.
The Pool Group didn’t receive the full financial support and help from the current leadership at the council, as other voluntary groups get, like ‘Ski Rossendale’ and the ‘Whitaker’.
All are well deserved, as most are assets of the council (in most cases) helping to give the Rossendale communities the opportunity of much needed community services. Though the difference was; that they are not currently a site of interest for housing development. The Haslingden Pool site is a known site of interest.
The pool site here in Haslingden, was previously an intricate part of the Rossendale Leisure Trust business portfolio, there to help fulfil the necessary provision of giving people the much needed exercise and helping to keep everyone healthy.
But more importantly for the younger school children lessons to learn to swim as well as something to do after school and in holidays. But the decision by this Labour leadership was to close the pool.
Over the last few years, there’s been a transformation of the provision of leisure under the stewardship of the voluntary board of directors and in particular the executive director of the Leisure Trust and his dedicated staff.
Had the pool not closed, and still be in the control of the Trust, I believe this would now be financially sustainable as part of the whole body of the Trust.
I believe they know there is a need for more swim provision in Rossendale. Marl Pits is the only place endeavouring to accommodate the swimming provision for the Valley. It struggles to meet full potential for everyone.
There are thousands of swim visits per year being lost in the Valley, having to go out of the Valley to get the opportunity to both learn to swim, and just to have a leisurely swim.
Many people over the years mentioned to me that whilst not the best looking pool, Haslingden had a warm enthusiastic atmosphere, where the staff were welcoming, friendly and helpful.
I hoped that a joint constructive plan would be forthcoming, allowing the pool a short lease of life to serve the community a little longer until a financial opportunity was agreed for the new pool promised could be built, at the Haslingden Sports Centre.
If the site is to be sold for development, the monies should be ring fenced towards the much needed new pool.
I personally want to thank the Valley volunteers for their hard work and dedication, especially the Pool Group and apologise to them for the lack of interest shown by this council to help them more fully. Coun Granville Morris Greenfield ward