Open letter to Councillor Ian Ward

Last week we submitted the following letter to Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council on behalf of community representatives from the local area from the fields of health, education, community development, heritage and culture.  The letter highlights the strategic importance of the building as a swimming facility and signals a desire for the community to preserve this important local amenity.

Dear Councillor Ian Ward,

As representatives of the local community we the undersigned note that in December 2012, Birmingham City Council decided not to submit a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a £8 million partial restoration of Moseley Road Baths, citing its inability to raise the £3 million match funding. This would have secured the future of the building for a further 25 years and it included an impressive programme of heritage outreach work with the local community.

We want to see the continuation of swimming at Moseley Road Baths.  The pool is well used by the local schools and community and is a well loved building at the heart of the neighbourhood.

The submission of the December 2012 bid presents a real opportunity to secure the future of the building as a swimming facility.  This bid was the result of months of planning with experts, consultation with hundreds of local people and it cost the Council £50,000 to pull together.  It is a strong bid, which the local community has rallied behind through the recent petition we have submitted to the Council.

We call on the Council to make a commitment to finding the £3 million match funding, either from its own funds or from partner organisations to secure the future of this Grade II* listed building as a swimming facility.

Jen Austin – Chair, Friends of Moseley Road Baths

Rachel Gillies – Secretary, Friends of Moseley Road Baths

Stephen Hartland – Chairman, The Victorian Society, Birmingham and West Midlands

Abdullah Rehman – Chief Executive, Balsall Heath Forum

David Isgrove – Chair, Moseley Forum

Mark Hillier – Moseley Shoals Swimming Group

John Short – Chief Executive, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

Ms Mandy Ross – Children’s author, Secret City Arts

Helen Minovi – Co – Chair, Moseley History Society

Lord Philip Hunt – Lord Philip Hunt of Kings Heath

Dr Anita Halliday – Chief Executive, St Paul’s Community Development Trust

Alyson McCusker – Deputy Co-Ordinator at Chatterbox Pre-school Playgroup

Joe Holyoak – Balsall Heath Development Plan Co-Ordinator

Tony Thapar – Moseley Community Development Trust

Dr Helen Coulthard – Chair, Save Sparkhill Baths

Professor Carl Chinn MBE – Local Historian

Councillor Ernie Hendriks – Liberal Democrat Councillor, Moseley and Kings Heath

Dr Jerry Evans – Liberal Democrat Councillor, Hall Green

Elizabeth Walker – Head Teacher, St John’s and St Monica’s Primary School

Joe Purnell – Head Teacher, Percy Shurmer Academy

Rebecca Garratt – Head Teacher, Tindal Ark School

Mrs Khan – Head Teacher, Park Hill School

Steve Langford – Head Teacher, King David School

Alan Mahar – Tindal Street Press, Tindal Street Fiction Group and local Novelist

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