last ditch plea to save pool
CAMPAIGNERS have written an open letter to Mayor Gordon Oliver pleading for the future of Shoalstone pool to be secured.
The Friends of Shoalstone Pool were supposed to meet with Torbay Council last week to discuss the pool's future. But the meeting was cancelled by the council just days before.
It is understood a private group may have expressed an interest in the pool but their identity remains a secret.
The Friends claim no money has been allocated by Torbay Council in the 2013 budget for the pool despite the strong support and fight to keep it open this year.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
And they say they are concerned the council is meeting with others to discuss the pool's future when they asked more than a month ago to be put in touch with any interested parties.
They have now sent a letter to Mayor Gordon Oliver to ask for a clear indication of his intentions for the 'iconic, under-valued and under-marketed tourist attraction' .
Chairman of the Friends group Mark Portwood said they were happy to work with anybody to keep the pool open but said the council needed to be straight with them.
"The Friends of Shoalstone Pool are keen to secure the future of the pool and to continue our discussions with Torbay Council, and indeed with any other interested party, as to how best this can be achieved," he said.
"It seems underhand to have a meeting with another group about the pool. If anything it would be better if ourselves, the other group and the council sat around the table and can speak together.
"The thing is Shoalstone costs such a pittance to run compared to indoor pools. I think Plainmoor received £400,000 last year and Shoalstone costs just £30,000 a year and that is with the lifeguards. It is the only place in Brixham to swim safely apart from the Breakwater. It doesn't make any sense why they don't want to keep it.
"We will help the council as we have done over the last eight or nine years but we want them to continue funding it because it costs so little to run and saltwater pools are on the up."
The Friends group now intend to seek registered charity status in order to more effectively raise funds and preserve the future of the pool.
Mr Portwood added: "We are prepared to continue to work with Torbay Council and with the local community to maintain and preserve this important attraction, but we cannot do this on our own, as we are a voluntary group. The pool is at the hub of the community in Brixham and it is a historic and iconic feature.
"Shoalstone Pool serves the entire Torbay area and beyond, and we believe the council has a duty and an obligation to preserve it and to ensure its future."
Mayor Oliver said he had not yet received any letter from the Friends group.
He said: "I am waiting for the two groups who are competing to run the pool and the area to meet. When they have and had constructive discussions we can move forward. We have been waiting six weeks for this meeting so they can talk to us as a group and we can work together. I am looking forward to that but it hasn't happened so far. I am anxious for that to happen and we need to know so we can move things on. Both groups would complement each other and have much to offer the people of Brixham."
A spokesman for the Friends pointed out they are unable to meet with the other interested parties as Torbay Council has not yet told them who they are.
She said: "At the end of a meeting in September we were promised by the council we would be put in touch with other interested parties. They now say they need to meet with them first to see if they are happy, so they are being completely disingenuous."
A Torbay Council spokesman said: "The Friends Group have approached the council regarding funding for next year and we are considering their request as part of the current budget setting process."