At the Friends of Moseley Road Baths meeting with Cllr Mullaney on 21st January we discussed options for funding swimming provision in Hall Green Constituency. Three options have been put on the table for the urgent work required to ensure that Sparkhill has swimming facilities. Two of these involve building new swimming facilities on the current site, with costs estimated at £10m and £13m respectively. A third involves a PFI pool at Moseley School as part of their new sports and leisure facilities which has been costed at £3m.
The big-sell on this is that the less Council money spent on Sparkhill the more money will be available to re-open Moseley Road Bath’s Gala Pool.
We welcome plans to re-open Moseley Road Baths’ Gala Pool and fully support the Friends of Sparkhill Baths’ calls to ensure that swimming facilities are provided in Sparkhill as soon as possible. However, we are fully behind the Friends of Sparkhill Baths in their opposition to the PFI model for our public swimming facilities. We also agree that Sparkhill Pool should remain on its current site, whether that means utilising the facade of the existing pool or rebuilding on the Stratford Road site.
You can read more about the plans and politics around it on The Stirrer website – here and here. In the meantime we are urging Cllr Mullaney and council officers to ensure that consultation and decisions around the future of swimming provision at both Sparkhill and Moseley Road Baths are transparent and accountable. Our local pools are in such a dire state because of years of short-term planning, lack of proper investment and politicking. Let’s ensure that good quality provision, accessibility and the needs of the immediate community are put at the heart of new plans.
There will be a meeting at 6.45pm on Wednesday 3rd February at Sparkhill Social and Cultural Centre on Stratford Rd, next to the swimming baths for all those interested in the plans. Cllr Mullaney has decided not to attend the meeting, but it is hoped that he will reverse this decision and use the opportunity to speak directly with the public on this issue.
NB. We have since learnt that Cllr Mullaney WILL be attending this meeting.