Today I joined a member of The Harborne Society (which has been campaigning for a new swimming pool in Harborne for years) at Birmingham’s Cabinet Meeting, where progress on phase one of improvement of Birmingham’s swimming facilities, was on the agenda. This is a vitally important issue for our constituency because included in phase one is the replacement of Harborne’s old swimming pool.
It was agreed today that planning permission for Harborne’s new swimming pool will be applied for this month. Planning permission for the new Aquatics and Leisure Complex in Ladywood is also due to be submitted in July – which is two lots of good news for local residents.
Harborne’s swimming pool fell into its bad state of repair during the 20 years when Labour were running Birmingham. In 2004, when the Conservative led administration took over, the general view was that Harborne’s pool was already beyond repair. Immediately Labour representatives began to moan and complain and demand that the new administration should build a new pool – which was a bit rich when the current one had fallen into disrepair during their watch!
However the Conservative and Liberal administration which is running Birmingham has dealt with the situation in a way which Labour singularly failed to do. We have come up with a swimming strategy for the whole city which includes a new swimming pool for Harborne. It also includes a 50 metre pool as part of an aquatics and leisure complex which will be built in Ladywood as a replacement for the old Monument Rd Baths – which was closed by Labour in the 1990s and never replaced. This has a local significance because although it was in Ladywood, the Monument Road site was used by North Edgbaston residents.
So on two fronts locally the Conservative and Liberal administration is putting right the mess which Labour left with regards to swimming. I’m pleased about that. And I think local residents will be too.