Sunday, September 28, 2008

Closing Pools

Leeds City Council have a ‘Vision for Investment’. Course they have. They have a ‘Vision’ for everything of course. The ‘Vision for cutting stuff back and knocking things down’ hasn’t had much publicity yet, but they have produced a questionnaire about swimming pools and sports facilities. They complain that they’re spending too much money on local sports facilities. They seem to think that knocking them down and building big ones would be a much better idea, and in some fantasy accountancy world this might save them money. They’re trying to get people to agree to this by ‘consulting’ them.

You don’t actually get to say ‘spend the money on swimming pools and screw the old people’ of course but you do get to say that they should spend the money on pools and ‘cut other services’. Then they can come along later and ask if you’d like to take the food out of the mouths of the pensioners or the disabled kiddies so they can keep your local pool open. They also pretty much admit that their facilities aren’t much cop, so you get to say that you want ‘excellent’ facilities if you want. They can then say the only way of doing this is to give all your money to a big private sector corporation to build the crappy pools of 20 years time. The Victorians of course managed to build pools that lasted for 100 years (and beyond that if they were looked after). We’re lucky to get 15 years these days before new buildings crumble and rust away.

Leeds is supposed to be a ‘successful’ city. That just seems to mean that millions of office blocks fit to be demolished in 15 years time have been built and left empty. You might think that it would mean that Leeds City Council could find a few quid to keep its swimming pools open wouldn’t you? They closed the big one in town of course. That was a year ago now. Have they built anything on the site? Nope. Have they demolished it? Nope. Did they get some money for the land? I bloody hope so. Mind you, Roundhay Park didn't have a cafe for about 3 years while the Council faffed about.

And come to think of it, where's the tram down our road that we were going to have to wait until 2007 for? Actually, that was the government. Banks not trams! Funnily enough I haven't seen that on any placards.

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