Sunday, 7 December 2008

Save Victoria Baths Campaign

Had a message from this important campaign via Facebook. I'll quote directly from some of it because it contains significant allegations and its important that I clearly show how they've come up with them.

1. "We now know that the Council LIED about the cost of upgrading the Leisure Centre. They said it would cost £1.3 million for basic repairs and maintenance. But this is NOT TRUE. We have obtained the Council’s OWN FIGURES (hidden in the Condition Surveys) and they provide an outline cost of around £2m for a complete refurbishment."

Does put a different light on the bulldoze vs refurbishment argument imho.

2. "Do you remember the Working Group? The Working Group has been completely ignored by the Council. They have hired a team of architects, who report to Nottingham Regeneration Ltd (a private company contracted by the Council) and these architects have been holding new “consultation meetings” with small groups of selected business and community members.


Ah. The old 'working group as sop to the campaigners' trick. An added benefit of this one is that when decision makers do exactly what they were going to do anyway they can say that they did it in consultation with the community.

3. "Here's what Jon Collins, Leader of the Council and local St Anns Councillor said to one of the campaigners who spoke to him on Wednesday:

"Victoria Baths needs knocking down, the only thing that is worth saving is 'the frontage' which appears to consist of the clock tower and 10 feet or so either side of it. (I am) not aware of any other area of architectural interest within the building. Most people want new, modern facilities.”"

Well yes they do but people also like to keep a bit of their history and as long as the facilities work is it really necessary to bulldoze everything every couple of generations? I'm also not convinced that council tax payers want the extra cost of a brand new centre just so Collins can go thrusting his way about the place shouting "Look at my massive...leisure centre".

Anyway, the campaigners suggest the following questions be asked;

"Ask him why Councillor Trimble is on record in March 08 as saying: “it would be prohibitively expensive to try and bring the existing buildings up to scratch." when the Council’s own figures show that this is not true?

Ask him why the Council voted to set up the Working Group then disregarded its own findings?

Ask him why refurbishment (at a modest cost of £2million) is being treated as a joke, when all the surveys show the majority of people want the current facilities brought up scratch? (See below)

Ask him why the Council are more than happy to spend money on bringing in London based architects and insisting on new consultations (carefully rigged) in the hope that they will be able to justify their plans to tear down the Leisure Centre?

Ask him why the next consultation on Jan 5th is not being made public?"

Anyway, for Facebreak members here's the campaign's page.

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