moseley road baths

Steve Beauchampé recently made an eloquent and convincing response to Richard Lutz’ approval of the closure of Moseley Road Baths in the Birmingham Press. It raises several questions:

Why is the council prepared to borrow £36m – plus interest charges – to pay developers to build six pools – two in the constituencies of the Council leader and his deputy – but grudges £3m over three years (which would release a  £5m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund) to restore the listed Moseley Road Baths, a beautiful building of national importance and a community asset?

Neil Elkes reports that the Council deputy leader Ian Ward does not agree with these figures; he said it would take the entire cost of the six new pools to fully restore the Moseley Road facility, but – according to Steve Beauchampé – Moseley Road Baths’ listed status entitles it to receive grants from national sources to fund its full restoration.

Aren’t the people of Balsall Heath entitled to retain this public amenity, used by over a dozen local schools, to which most people can walk, cycle or travel by bus?

Does the council care for its most vulnerable? As Beauchampé points out, “Such people are the least likely to travel to another pool as the cost of public transport (already £4 per adult for a return bus journey and soon to rise again), bad weather or the unwillingness of parents to allow their children to travel unsupervised, results in people ceasing to swim altogether”.

Reconsider?

By chance a ‘Pool Watch’ website was seen online; it is sponsored by the Amateur Swimming Association and indicates that this problem is affecting many communities. The active and enterprising Friends of Moseley Road Baths will probably have been in touch with this potentially helpful resource.

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