Monday, June 09, 2008

A Drop in the Ocean

a swimming pool "England's swimming pools could be free to use by the time of the London 2012 Olympics, says the government."
So reports the BBC.

Well, that would be fine, if you’ve actually got a local pool to use. Lot’s of our money sloshing around here. Perhaps it might, just might, be better employed by assisting local authorities to build new, or maintain/replace existing swimming pools? But wait, some of it is. There is £80 million to scrap charges for the over-60s and £60 million for refurbishing and maintaining pools. Sounds a lot doesn’t it? But £60 million is roughly £1 each. And how many new pools could we build for £60 million? Three? For the whole country.

Don't expect any help for Redbridge.


  1. Here we go, that weasel word 'free' again!

    Whether the money is raised via council tax or personal tax or VAT, the pools, and the entrance therein, will NOT be free, we will be paying for them even if we are not using them.

    At which point, many readers will say that that is what happens with schools and hospitals, etc.

    In my view, given that the Government is up to its ears in debt and will not be doling out much largesse to Councils in the near future, what funds there are should be spent on necessities - such as schools and care for the disabled and elderly - rather than luxuries such as pools and local theatres.

  2. So much for 11 years of "prudence"!

  3. Worse, this may well turn into the usual trick of making a grand, populist announcement, funding it for the first year or two and then withdrawing the funding whilst expecting councils to continue with the obligations.

    Cllr Monro

  4. But, surely the issue is that the Council do have money. The Leisure Department must have known for years that the swimming pool needed replacing. Don't be fooled by Tory politicians local propoganda. Ask yourself why are they wasting millions of your money on Unity [or vanity] Square in Ilford, Redbridgei website, Redbridge Life, Jaguar limonsines, housing migrants, Councillors Cabinet allowances, translation and interpreting foreign languages.... Now I know the Labour government has made many mistakes and I'm definetly no fan. But, in reality, the pool debacle is the Tories fault. It is a local issue. Politicians of all persuasion couldn't organise a p1ss up in a brewery!! Mr Angry of Redbridge, George

  5. I think you're wrong George. They DID organise a piss-up - notin a brewery but in an oriental restaurant from which they exluded a few of their number, but those who went have been pissed on power ever since.