Our response to Labour Party Statement

Thank you all for your response to our campaign so far.  We’ve had an impressive response which really highlights how passionately the public feel about the building as a swimming facility!

The Labour Party has now contacted to us as a result of our most recent campaign, clarifying their position on Moseley Road Baths (full text here).  Whilst we welcome this, there are still a number of issues we feel have not been addressed (this is equally true of other political groups in the city and other councillors in the Hall Green Constituency).  We will be taking these up with local councillors and candidates and would urge others to continue to lobby.  You may wish to include some of these points in your own correspondence.

  1. Your position makes no mention of swimming.  Please can you clarify your position on Moseley Road Baths as a swimming facility?
  2. You tell us we need to ‘all engage constructively’ even though we are only just being given information about the Labour Party’s position in response to our campaign with an election looming.  We are a visible, vocal campaign group yet you have not engaged with us so far.  Given such an appalling track record of consulting with the public and engaging with The Friends of Moseley Road Baths, can you give us a concrete idea of what ‘engaging constructively’ looks like?  How will pool users and local residents be consulted and kept informed?
  3. The last Constituency meeting in January 2012 voted to draw up an options appraisal on the future of the building.  Surely deciding to put the Baths into Corporate control preempts this?  You have declared and voted on one thing in public yet intend to do something else.
  4. Moseley Road Baths are already ‘under central’ in terms of capital provision and refurbishment.   Provision of a swimming facility for the local community and its day-to-day running and maintenance are the responsibility of the constituency.  This is so for all the constituencies, together with an annual amount from centre towards these.  Refurbishment works are capital works and are already under the centre.
  5. Birmingham City Council does have a Heritage Strategy in place, (BCC Heritage Strategy 2007-12.pdf) , and a Heritage Steering Group, and an application for national Heritage Lottery funding is scheduled for Moseley Road Baths this April.  Will you commit to backing the HLF bid which is currently being developed?
  6. The running of Birmingham’s Sport and Leisure facilities is currently out to tender yet you make no mention of this in your statement.  How does this fit in with your position?
  7. You seem to want to put emphasis on the actions of the current administration.  We fail to see the value of this beyond party politics.  This is an unnecessary distraction and we refuse to be drawn into it.  We take the actions of political groups and councillors on their own merit.

Friends of Moseley Road Baths

20th February 2012

2 thoughts on “Our response to Labour Party Statement”

  1. Isn’t the nature of politics that before an election parties set out their policies. Labour look lke they are going to take control of the city in May. Doesn’t that make it the right time to set out a programmeand not before?

    You talk about ‘an appalling record of consulting’ which is a bit hard on a party that has not had the power to do anything for the past 8 years.

    My reading of making the baths a central priority is that it is a positive thing whatever else happens. These constituency committees just don’t have the resources needed. Why are you so unhappy about the suggestion would it be better if the whole council wasn’t taking some responsibility? In any event your comments seem odd in the light of paragraph 4, it’s almost as if you are criticising for the sake of criticising.

    Where’s the emphasis on ‘the actions of the current administration’?

    You want to be careful that you are not the ones who end up looking party political. It would be a shame if what is a very important campaign gets involved in a partisan fight.

  2. We were e-mailed as a direct result of our most recent campaign – we would have hoped that the two sitting Labour Councillors for the ward that the Baths sits in would have been more forthcoming in their views earlier. The same can be said for all political parties in the Hall Green Constituency, so no, it’s not party political. 🙂

    We have an open mind about the Baths being moved into Corporate Control. We are just genuinely confused as to how this sits with the options report, the Heritage Strategy and the management of Birmingham’s pools being put out to tender.

    The Labour Party statement has ‘The Committee also wanted to be advised why the current administration had not sought to make Moseley Road Baths a corporate priority’ as one of the main points. Agreed, it would be a terrible shame if the Baths, which is a wonderful facility which members of all political parties in the city have enjoyed swimming in (and they have told us as much) were to be overshadowed by the forthcoming election.

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