Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Labour Need To Be Clear Over the Future Of Oaklands

What a complete mess Labour are in over the issue of Oaklands Pool. Broken promises, deceit and incompetence are fast becoming hallmarks of the new council Administration.

One of Labour's first actions on taking control of the council was to announce the closure of Oaklands, despite their election pledge just a few weeks before, promising to protect it. 

Since then we have had total confusion over the future of the site. On one hand we had Labour saying the long term maintenance costs of the pool were too expensive, then we had a statement several months later from council Leader Richard Williams saying he might commit to repair costs. We had Labour on one hand saying that they would not pay the ongoing running costs, then them spending even more money this year keeping it closed, because of the ongoing costs of wages, building costs and lost income from visitors. We have had Labour on one hand saying that they would welcome a private company or charity taking on the pool but on the other hand had them saying that they planned to demolish the whole site within 2 years to make way for a new Sainsbury's. Now Sainsbury's have announced that they won't be proceeding with plans for a new store anyway.

Labour's policy is in total chaos. The pool should have stayed open and the pipe work repairs that were being carried out by the previous Administration should never have been stopped. If Labour won't allow Oaklands to remain a council pool and if they are serious about finding an alternative operator they need to be proactive and clearly spell out whether or not they will commit the council to ongoing repairs and how long any deal with a swimming pool operator will last. Labour also need to be clear about the future of the former Oaklands School building. Months ago the Conservatives called for the building to be used for community use and for other options like business use or nursery provision to be considered, but Labour voted our proposals down.


Anonymous said...

We will keep open ALL the city’s swimming pools and leisure centres.
We will work with developers and town planners to provide a new Oaklands Swimming Pool as part of the redevelopment of Lordshill district centre.

Can you please explain these statements which you made. Can you also explain the statement that you are lobbying Eric Pickles to provide kerb side collection of glass. Were you or were you not the deputy leader of SCC for 5 years, can you please explain why you did not do this when you were in power, or are you just trying to score political points.

Remember Jeremy what goes round comes round, and people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

Jeremy Moulton said...

Yes our policy was to keep open Oaklands on its existing site until such time as a more comprehensive redevelopment of the Lordshill District centre might take place. If that then happened we would have required a new pool as part of any redevelopment.

I was Deputy Leader for 2 years. The Conservative Administration submitted a bid to government for free kerb side collection of glass earlier this year. This was a bid for money from Mr Pickles' department which he made available for councils who will commit to keeping the weekly bin collections. I am hopeful that the council bid succeeds and I have spoken to Mr Pickles about the merits of Southampton's bid.