Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Swimming Pool – What Future?

a breat stroke swimmerAs well as being Chairman of Barkingside 21, I am also Chairman of the Redbridge Swimmers Users group. After the closure of the Ilford High Road pools at the end of September both groups plus others have been active in seeking a commitment from Redbridge Council to replace this lost amenity quickly.

This has involved a petition of 6,000 signatures, speaking and lobbying wherever possible and a march from the Ilford Recorder building to the Town Hall.

In spite of all this effort it appears that we are no further forward in getting a replacement pool. In fact, the council appears to be in denial regarding this problem. A good example of this is the front page of the November issue of Redbridge Life with the headline “Redbridge Conversation leads to borough wide improvements”.

Among the flim-flam is a photograph of young swimmers raising their hands in jubilation at what purports to be a good result as far as their sport is concerned. Who are you trying to kid, Mr Council. When in fact the words say “even if money is found for a new leisure centre work could not start for a few years”.

The residents of Barkingside should not feel complacent that we have a pool because our amenity is now under immense pressure from the displaced users from Ilford which will be at its peak in the Summer.

Our groups, however despondent at the excuse that there is “no money”, will continue our campaign with vigour. We are in for a long haul and ask supporters not to give up.

John Sharrock


  1. Could Swimming Pools not be funded by the National Lottery?? I know there are sports facilities that were built using the money from this source.

  2. It would seem that we leafy well-orf boroughs do not qualify, despite having some of the worst pockets of "deprivation" in the capital.

  3. What is the issue to do with the swimming pool. Is a new pool to be built?

    Kevin Madden (Jnr)

  4. I hoped somebody would comment!
    B21, to the rescue please!
    Who is Kevin Madden (Jnr) and what does he mean?
    Now, does anybody know anything about Redbridge joining the 'let the OAPs swim for free'? I read in the Evening Standard that Redbridge has chosen to join the scheme for older people but did not extend it to tiddlywinks.

  5. Anne, Was that Evening Standard piece before or after the Ilford Pools closed?

    A Kevin Madden has appeared on this blog here. This one is a volunteer with ReDA, but I don't know if he is the same as above, nor do I know what the one above meant.

  6. The article was published in the Evening Standard, last Tuesday (9th December) page 8, written by Matthew Beard, Sports News Correspondent.
    Briefly: all but two of the 33 London Boroughs have applied for the cash. (The two non applier are Bromley and Westminster.)
    Now, I must eat humble pie because the article states that six boroughs chose to make the offer only to over-60s but they did not specify which ones. So, Redbridge might have applied for both, I had just assumed!!!
    Apparently, the scheme will begin next April.

  7. Oh! just brilliant isn't it? Applying for funds for a scheme when we haven't got the facilities to deliver!!!!!!!!!

    Just about sums up the retards who run this council. Did you get that bit about "it is concerned about the scheme's costs and the effect of Londoners "migrating" to pools in other boroughs."

    Full piece for those interested:


    In Redbridge "cost" is not the prime factor, it is "availability". We have no choice but to go somewhere else.

  8. Breaking threads and splitting hairs at the same time:
    *In the redbridge life, just delivered, there is a reference to Barkingside High Street providing all the big names in shopping. (Right!)
    *In the Evening Standard of last night, (Friday 12th December) they publish the list of the cost of self-promotion of all London boroughs.
    Redbridge is not the worse offender but £2million to promote oneself, isn't that a bit self-indulgent? (Perhaps the more you spend the better the image)
    *Also in last night Evening Standard, there is a reference to a sad case where Redbridge inherited a social problem from a neighbouring borough and the social services here failed to realise the seriousness of the problem , hence a child died at the hands of her father.
    What happened is that a mother and child at risk were rehoused in Redbridge, for their own protection from a violent man, hence became Redbrige's responsibility. It is printed, in black and white, by a reputable paper, so hinting at such a problem should not create a wave of disgust directed at the speaker if he/she mentions this at cabinet.( I have obviously a bone to pick regarding a previous issue and, for a seasoned OAP, I have a long memory!)
    No, Morris, you are not allowed to look out of the window, looking for flying animals!

  9. The article can be found Here, although it is a bit ambiguous which social worker failed to highlight the allegations of abuse.

    "A month later, the mother again called police when the father tried to snatch Baby H. Social workers placed the mother and child in emergency accommodation in Redbridge but a social worker failed to highlight the allegations of abuse when files were transferred".

    Was this a Redbridge Social worker, or a Tower Hamlets Social worker?


  10. I have clicked on the link provided by newbie to read the case again and my blood has turned cold.
    I don't think there is much difference between this case and Baby P's.
    Now, forgive me for being sarcastic, but, moving a person from a London borough to another one is not going to make it any more difficult to trace and contact the person in danger. What is obviously going to happen is that there is going to be confusion in the exchange of data, not only from the social services but also the police, since different boroughs have different borough commanders, etc,..
    So where is the logic, if any, for one borough to pass on a difficult case to another borough.
    Is Redbridge passing on its difficult cases to other authorities as well?
    Would this information be classified, or would FOI work.
    Some investigation would not go amiss.

  11. Redbridge needs fewer public artworks and more front end social workers.

  12. Too be fair, the latest Ofsted Report rated the services for children and young people in Redbridge as "Good".

    Although there is still concern that reoffending rates are high, and that final warnings / reprimands for looked after children and young people are high.

    Also the number of care leavers in suitable accomodation is too low.

    Quite how reversing the policy from 50% affordable housing back down to 25% affordable housing on any new development will address such issues is hard to see. (see minute 10 of Area 3 05-11-2008)

    So overall a "good" grade 3 assessment, but some areas, still need to be addressed.


  13. Very well written, John. Thanks!