Further Delays!

Here is the latest news from BCC Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, Cllr Martin Mullaney regarding Moseley Road Baths, and once again, it’s not good. I’m sure that we all share Councillor Mullaney’s frustration at the ongoing closure and we would welcome any thoughts that you have.

Update on Moseley Road Baths – 3rd February 2012

I’ve bad news on the re-opening of Moseley Road baths. The Council’s Health and Safety officers are now insisting that the ceiling of Pool 2 is painted to prevent flaking paint falling into the pool before it re-opens. This means that the re-opening has now been pushed back to the start of April.

I cannot express how furious (and upset) I am with this news and I have made my feelings clear to the Council’s Property Team who are ultimately responsible for the building.

As users of this historic swimming pool will know, the building closed in December 2010 to replace a completely rotten steel lintel above the fire exit door to Pool 2. What was supposed to be a six week closure, has been continually added to as Health and Safety find another issue that needs fixing. These have included removing asbestos from the basement and replacing temporary scaffolding with permanent scaffolding also in the basement.

All work in the basement will be finished on Friday 10th February and it was anticipated the building could open soon afterwards.

However, in the last few weeks, Property Services and Hall Green constituency office have raised concerns about the high level of flaking paint on the ceiling. To repaint the ceiling will involve emptying the pool of water; completely filling the room with scaffolding and taking a minimum of 8 weeks to do.

I have challenged the need to repaint this ceiling, since from my perspective the baths have been closed long enough and this constant discovery by Health and Safety of yet another issue, just as we are about to re-open has to stop.

Health and Safety have today insisted that the ceiling needs repainting before the public are allowed back. They have tested the paint and shown that the flaking paint is pulling off bits of the lead based paint underneath. Based on their analysis, the level of lead in the samples tested are so high that a volume equivalent to 24 grains of sugar falling into the pool would make the pool unsafe to swim. Please don’t shot me at this point, I am just the messager.

It is for that reason and with great reluctance, I have given the go ahead this afternoon to start the process of re-painting the ceiling. The Properties Team are assuring me that the contractors will be able to start erecting the scaffolding on Monday 13th February.

Martin Mullaney

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