Tuesday, July 24, 2012

If you can’t swim, build an Ark

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When the public speak at Redbridge Council Cabinet meetings their time is limited to 2 minutes. Consequently when I spoke recently about swimming there were a number of comments that had to be omitted.

I did have time to quote the figures from July’s ‘Swimming Times’ that Redbridge is 4th from the bottom of a national table of children leaving primary schools who are unable to swim - with only 37% being able to swim a length. Put another way it means that 2 in 3 Redbridge children are unable to swim at age 11.

This figure is increasing and will continue to do so as long as there is only one swimming pool in our borough i.e. Fullwell Cross. It is worth noting that per head of the population we should have 4 pools in Redbridge.

What I was unable to say was:

That the 2 pools at Cricklefields were opened in 1930 and over the years became the home of Ilford swimming. This tradition was lost when they were closed in September 1998 and have not been replaced four years later; the problem being compounded by the recent move to turn the site into a school leaving no obvious place to build a new pool in South Ilford, as and when money is available.

All our neighbouring councils have an adequate number of modern pools making Redbridge stand out like a ‘sore thumb’. This fact brought forth the comment from Councillor Chan that ‘Parents should take more responsibility to find these pools outside the borough if they want to help their children to learn to swim.’ To which might be added that it is our Councillors/Cabinet member’s responsibility to provide adequate pools to enable us not to ‘ponce’ outside our borders

The Council’s accounts for the year following the pool’s closure showed a substantial saving (as a result of not having to provide these facilities). At the time I suggested that as an act of prudence and commitment to pool replacement monies be set-a-side annually. I was told that ‘council capital monies do not work like that’. Consequently to my knowledge after 4 years no money is available towards a rebuild. What a shame.

And what of statistics for children learning to swim:
During their years in primary school students should have 24 hours swimming. At the moment they get 6 hours resulting in a continuing decline in children being able to swim a length.
Should you wish to sign on to learn at Fullwell Cross the waiting list is at least 12 months, and as a result of being over subscribed was recently suspended for a period

To sum up I quote deputy Council Leader Cllr. Bond’
‘It is pie in the sky to talk about a swimming pool.’

John Sharrock
Redbridge Swimmers

Editor: Apparently there was a "demolition" against the closure of the pools in October 2008. And Redbridge schools are among the "best" in the country, innit, while Science Graduates can't add up.

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16 comments:

  1. I guess I was really spoiled. My alma mater, a public, state funded high school, had a swimming pool on site. As part of our PE program we always had a swimming module and those who didn't know how to swim were taught. It's a shame that sort of thing doesn't happen here. :/

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    1. It does I can think of at least two scholls with pools - West Hatch and Caterham

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    2. True, but they are both Secondary schools. It doesn't help under 11s.

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    3. NeighbourhoodWatcher5:47 pm, July 26, 2012

      Ilford County High Boys has a swimming pool (opened 1966).

      I am guessing that Ellie Hull went to Woodford Girls. My Mum, my sister and my late wife used that pool.

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    4. Another Secondary. What about the under 11s?

      And that would be Woodford Girls in the USA?

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    5. Redbridge Primary Schoolin Clayhall certainly did have a pool in the 80's. Woodford County High School's pool was boarded over by the mid-80's.

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  2. Welcome to Bliar's Legacy.

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  3. Redbridge charge non-residents to use our Amenty sites. How long before neighbouring borough's charge extra for us to use their Swimming pools.

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  4. I always believed that the old swimming pool site in the High Road (behind the frontage that housed the "Leisure Centre") had already been demolished to make room for the "Isaac Newton Academy".

    It now seems that this is not the case and that there is enough room to build a new Primary School. It is a SOTBO (Statement of the Blinkin' Obvious) that there is therefore also room to build a new swimming pool.

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  5. Does anyone know what became of Lord Rowallan?http://barkingside21.blogspot.co.uk/2009/04/lord-reassures-swimmers.html

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  6. How can Barking & Dagenham effort a new swimming pool and Redbridge not? http://www.leadbitter.co.uk/index.php/projects/project-gallery?id=53

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    1. Their council is (or certainly was 6 years ago) free of debt with huge sums in balances.

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  7. LB Havering has announced a "land swap" deal with Morrisons Supermarkets enabling it to build a new Leisure Centre incorporating a new Ice Rink and SWIMMING POOL.


    http://www.havering.gov.uk/Documents/Living159web.pdf

    I am sure that we all eagerly await the corresponding proposals from Redbridge.

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    1. Havering already has 2 pools and now has plans for a third. Dedbridge used to have 3, but thanks to lethargic complacency now has only one with no clear plans for more.

      Vision? Pull the other one!

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  8. why could you not save Ilford Swimming Pool. You had legal right on your side. It was the only one around that had 2 separate pools, a spa, weight gym area and canteen. It was pure history. Other areas, such as Newham x 2 have not knocked their 100+ year old buildings down, so why did Redbridge not fight tooth and nail for something that was such a well visited place and kept us slim and fit and a place 'to meet' new folk, and make friends. like everything in Ilford, it is losing our dignity and history. When will it stop? People came to UK for our history ... what is left? if the people at the top of our chain are deciding against our wishes to 'eradicate' something that England is known for and visited for?

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