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POOL PROTEST PLANNED

21-09-2009

Swimmers will be protesting outside Sparkhill swimming bath in Birmingham tomorrow afternoon, aiming to ensure that its temporary closure doesn’t become permanent. Steve Beauchampe has more.

The recently formed Friends of Sparkhill Pool are holding a demonstration outside the pool on Stratford Road on Tuesday between 3:30pm-4:30pm.

Sparkhill Pool was partially closed in July 2008 following the discovery of asbestos in the swimming pool hall, but a surveyor's report uncovered serious structural problems and the building has been locked and boarded up since early this summer.

The demonstration coincides with a report to Birmingham City Council's Cabinet on funding for several of the city's community swimming pools (along with the proposed £58m Birmingham Acquatic and Leisure Centre planned for Ladywood).

Although Cabinet agreed redevelopment of Sparkhill Pool in principle back in July, organisers of Tuesday's demonstration want to keep the pressure on Cabinet members to fulfil that promise at a meeting on Septmber 28th by making a financial commitment to fund either a rebuild of the current, locally listed, structure, or a new building on the same site.

Tuesday's demonstration has been timed to allow as many parents and local schoolchildren as possible to attend, to highlight the fact that since the pool closed around a dozen schools have been forced to abandon swimming lessons.

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