Tory swimming baths claims don’t hold water

In response to the Tory misinformation being distributed in Weoley, Brett O’Reilly, Northfield councillor, tells us about the future of Northfield swimming baths, an iconic building where many of us in Weoley first learned to swim.


‘You have to wonder why the Tories are making up stories regarding this issue. The fact is that Northfield is going to benefit from the most significant investment in leisure in over a generation.

It is extremely misleading and unhelpful to scaremonger stories that residents will have to use the new facility at the university. The aim of the new centre is to provide a facility within Northfield District that is not only fit for purpose, but will be sustainable for generations to come, not the short-sighted sticking plaster that the Tories delivered previously.

Double standards

It is extremely hypocritical of Conservative Councillors to campaign against a new facility, especially after the same model was used in Harborne under their administration: typical of the double standards that we have come to expect. Further to this, we have the Conservative constituency candidate jumping on the bandwagon with stories of the new facility being built somehow outside of the district.

We have learnt from the mistakes of the previous administration that if a facility is to be replaced, the old one needs to remain in use until the new one is ready, unlike in Harborne where people were deprived of their pool for a very long time.

Northfield not only needs a new facility (and I should know as a user of the service with my wife and daughter), but the residents of Northfield deserve a new facility. Maybe it is the case that the Tories somehow feel that Harborne was more deserving and that Northfield should make do.

  • Northfield baths opened on 8th May 1937 and were the first in Birmingham to be built solely for the purpose of recreation.
  • The building was designed by Henry Simister for the Birmingham Baths Committee. There were two pools, as there are now, with a large café overlooking.
  • The fitness suite was added in the 1980s.
  • The refurbishment in 2003 was the last major spend on the building.
  • Situated opposite the Black Horse on Bristol Road South, the building is considered a local landmark.
Reproduced from B31 Voices

 

Tories lack a credible policy

The cynic in me would suggest that as the Tories lack any credible policy for Birmingham, they will continue to spread lies and scaremonger about the future of services in Northfield.

The message from me as a Northfield Ward Councillor is simple: stop making things up, stop scaremongering, stop misleading the people of Northfield, and start behaving in a responsible manner and contributing to the discussion on how best to deliver the service in Northfield.

With the discussion around location and extra provision still ongoing, we could actually work cross-party to deliver a new and exciting facility for Northfield. I suspect however that devoid of any real policy, the Tories will continue to scaremonger and in so doing hope that the citizens of our community will be duped into thinking that they actually care about the services on which the majority of us rely.

I would personally welcome any comments and contributions from members of the public. Furthermore, please feel free to contact me if you would be interested in the facts, rather than the political posturing that has unfortunately blighted this most positive investment in Northfield’s Leisure provision.’

You can can contact Brett at brett.o’reilly@birmingham.gov.uk.

You can contact Steve here.

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