Sunday, 13 August 2006

January 1997 and the battle to save the swimming pool

Focus January 1997

Liberal Democrat Councillors battle to save Redcar Swimming Pool

REDCAR Council has to make further budget cuts and what is the first thing that our top heavy Labour controlled Council proposes to close?

Yes, you've guessed it, Redcar Swimming Pool.

Newcomen Ward Liberal Democrat Councillors Chris Abbott and Stan Wilson, together with Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson, Cllr Joyce Benbow, have pledged to fight any plans to close the pool. They have pressed for cuts in bureaucracy which they believe are the root cause of the Council's troubles.

"Too many Council Departments mean too much bureaucracy and too many highly paid top level Council Officers. The Council can quite easily reduce from ten Departments to six but it is like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas. Council Officers will not propose cutting their own empires. Instead they propose cuts in services to the public. The very basic facilities which the Council was set up to provide." said Cllr Chris Abbott.

"Frankly, the Labour Council have got themselves into this mess by the long term neglect of what is an essential facility for a seeside town. It is vital that it remains open until a new state of the art facility can be provided as part of the regeneration plans for Coatham Enclosure area," said Cllr Joyce Benbow.

"As a former teacher I am most concerned about all the valuable education time which Redcar school children will waste travelling to Saltburn Baths. Local Liberal Democrats will vote against the proposed closure of Redcar Swimming Pool." said Cllr Stan Wilson.

IT is interesting that the Coalition, elected in 2003, has severely reduced the number of departments, chief officers and bureaucracy. Placing the emphasis on putting services first we have dragged the Council up from only fair under Labour to FOUR STAR excellent today. Our plans to provide two new swimming pools in Redcar are now at planning stage and we are determined to bring them to fruition over the next few months.

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