Yesterday evening [Thursday 26th September], the Leisure, Culture and Olympics Scrutiny Committee voted in favour of closing the Ilford Swimming Pool immediately, rather than wait until December, due to the unsatisfactory safety survey. A final decision is awaited. Ilford Recorder report.
At the meeting John Sharrock, Chairman of B21 and the Swimmers Users Group said "This will result in Redbridge having the worst swimming facilities in any London borough, and London is among the worst in Europe. What a Christmas gift for your residents, what a poor way to start 2009." He went on, "What is a surprise to us is that you ever got into this sorry situation, so much for progressive Redbridge. Yet in this report there is no word of apology; no regrets, no sorry to residents. Is it too much for us to hear you admit that you got it wrong?"
"The Leader of the Council has given an estimate of 5 years before a replacement pool is built and we see no urgency to reduce this long period – some of us may not live that long. But to many people regular swimming is essential to maintaining their quality of life."
It is worth noting here that the Olympics comes to London in 2012, one year before the earliest estimate of a new pool. It would appear that this Committee, and the Cabinet member they scrutinise, is inaccurately named. Unless of course the IOC has admitted a new sport of procrastination, delay, ineptitude and wasting taxpayer’s money on frivolities.
Olympic-sized swimming pool for Ilford: Note the date.
UPDATE, Sunday 28th September: We are informed that the Ilford Pool closed at 3pm on Saturday 27th. What now?