GROUP DIDN’T GET SUP­PORT

Rossendale Free Press - - Your Views -

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

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