Town councillor launches petition against Toddler Pool closure

Hebden Royd Labour Town Councillor Stewart Brown has expressed his shock at reports that the learner pool at Pitt Street Adult Education Centre in Hebden Bridge is to close .

He is now spearheading a Labour-led protest petition which will aim to fight the plans - due to take effect next month.

"It's an established local facility for parents and toddlers and so convenient for many parents to use. It's appalling that things have to reach a crisis like this before we find out about them, there's no need to have taken such a hasty decision and it's typical of the lack of consultation we get from Calderdale", said Cllr Brown.

Though users are to be encouraged to use alternative facilities in Sowerby Bridge and Todmorden, Cllr Brown feels that these locations are too far and too awkward to travel to for many parents with one or more children by public transport.

"I see no reason why the facility can't be maintained in Hebden Bridge in the long term", said Cllr Brown, " and I have asked Calderdale's officers to actively participate in the Central Street feasibility study now being undertaken and funded by the town council and Yorkshire Forward, as this might open up possibilities for its retention. I can envisage a situation where the pool could be renovated to modern standards and run in future by an organisation independent of the Calderdale. Alternatively it may be more cost effective to provide a completely new facility elsewhere in the town. It's just a pity officers and Calderdale councillors didn't explore all the possibilities before reaching the decision they have done.

" It's also a pity the previous town council cut the budget to the bone, as the new town council could have considered funding the service for the time being whilst a permanent solution is sought."

Hebden Royd Labour Party Secretary and Town Councillor Susan Press said: " Labour Councillors on the Town Council will campaign to keep this facility within Hebden Royd. We are starting a petition to save the pool and will be giving out forms around the town and to community groups. Anyone wanting petition forms can get them by phoning 01422 845276 or emailing".

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