Posted by Cllr John B. Frederiksen
It was with a feeling of sadness that I read the article in The Hebden Bridge Times (April 5th) that, next to the old Mytholmroyd Community Centre buildings, we are going to have a 25 by 8 metre pool with fitness suite which will rely on council support, quote: 'public and council support would be needed to insure it's future success'.
I (like the majority of people in Hebden Royd) would welcome a pool, but it must be developed on a firm financial footing.
The Hebden Royd Council has written to the Swimming Pool Committee and pointed out that the Committee had to find a sustainable solution, as we all know that a swimming pool on it's own needs to be subsidised, and that HR Council was not willing to commit to this. It is also unlikely that Calderdale Council could commit to the funds necessary under its current budget.
No consultation with Hebden Royd Council has taken place, in fact quite the opposite as no HR councillors were invited to meetings of the Swimming Pool Committee.
Last year Royd Regeneration invited Richard Marshall and Dorothy Sutcliffe to a meeting where we had a presentation from a local company which specialises in sustainable solutions for swimming pools and sports centres. The company specialises in obtaining further funding for projects and offered to staff and run the new centre in a profit-sharing scheme. The company has a proven track record of success. There are almost certainly other companies offering the same sort of deal, so that an integrated plan could, no doubt, be put out to tender.
There is no mention in The Hebden Bridge Times article as to how the pool would be run.
Richard Marshall himself admitted that the best scheme would be to pull the present Mytholmroyd Community Centre buildings down and start afresh with a purpose-built centre incorporating a sports and fitness centre, swimming pool, community centre and youth facilities.
In it's day the old centre was an imaginative initiative by members of the community in creating a local amenity from a collection of old chicken sheds, and has served the community well for many years. Unfortunately it is losing its battle with time, has become increasingly run down and annually relies on Hebden Royd Council for support in replacing outworn pieces of equipment essential in keeping the tired old buildings going.
What happened Richard? How long will it be before the swimming pool will have to close down due to lack of funds and bad planning, and the present Community Centre cannot be shored up any longer? The people of Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd deserve better than a badly thought-out solution. Where is your feasibility study, business plan and how much are you expecting the councils to contribute?
Why not use the pool at Todmorden Sports centre? Its a great facility with pool, gymnasium, sports hall etc. Its only 10 minutes from Hebden Bridge and after a swim, why not have a walk around the park and let your kids play in the fantastic new playground. You could even have a look at the tropical enclosure or ride bikes around the children's roadway.
It really does put Hebden's park to shame and shows what can be done.
Ian, please remember that Todmorden pool is "10 mins from Hebden Bridge" only for people with a car. Anyone travelling there by bus must either rely on the hourly 592 Burnley service or walk from/to the centre of Todmorden. As adult sessions at the pool tend to be in the evening, this is likely to include a walk through the park after dark. I for one look forward to a pool located conveniently closer to public transport.
Time ran out at meeting at the White Lion last night but several people from Mytholmroyd said afterwards that the subject of the swimming pool was definitely one to bring up at the next meeting taking into consideration all of John's well thought out comments.
The next meeting is 13th June at 7.30 at the White Lion.
I will contact Nick Wilding, who chaired the group with the suggestion that this issue be added to the growing list of concerns debated last night.
Previously, on the Hebden Bridge Web
Victorial Road former swimming pool site
Swimming pool - forum thread