Lordsfield Swimming Club
Securing pool's future
**PUBLIC MEETING ABOUT THE POOL'S FUTURE - Overton Primary School, Monday 25 September, 7.30pm**
We are cautiously optimistic about the pool's future (for the next 5 years), having met with Hampshire County Council staff on Wed 6 September. HCC is serious about leasing the pool directly to Lordsfield Swimming Club providing we can satisfy various criteria in the business plan we are now putting together.
Come along to the public meeting to find out more and how you can help us keep the pool available to our community.
Please read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below before attending and we ask that, to help us manage the meeting on the night, any questions you have ideally be submitted beforehand (by the close of play on Sunday 24 September) by email to Lauren McCann (LSC Chair/Trustee) or posted in the box at Overton Chemist (questions will be collected first thing on Monday 25 September).
We hope everyone is writing their letters and sending their emails to Anna MacNair-Scott at HCC to support us as we negotiate a way to manage, operate and fund the pool beyond this season!
See you at the meeting - let's work together to keep our fabulous pool open and available in Overton!
Thanks, Lauren :)
**NEWS ABOUT THE POOL'S FUTURE FROM LSC CHAIR/TRUSTEES**
Most people will now have received the letter (below) in News & Views notifying residents of the school's decision that it can no longer support the pool. There is no doubt that the pool holds a special place in the hearts of our community, which it has served for almost 60 years being enjoyed by generations of villagers. (For my part, my dad helped build the first fence in woodwork classes in his early teens, my mum took in money contributions to school, my siblings & I spent happy summers every year at the pool with our friends & we now enjoy watching the next generation of our family, not only enjoying the water & improving their water skills, but growing in confidence & esteem, communicating & developing so many other life skills which will help stand them in good stead & is part of a wider education for their lives ahead.) At a time of issues like increasing child obesity & mental health difficulties, facilities like the pool are essential in so many ways & give kids so much more than a chance to swim. The pool is also now serving our wider community - our adult sessions are proving very popular this season.
I'd like to assure everyone that Lordsfield Swimming Club's Trustees (Janella Thow, Tania Bridge, Jon Pritchard & myself) are passionate about the pool & we are committed to doing the best we can to find a solution to keep the pool available beyond this season. We are working hard (and have been since being made aware of this decision) to investigate other options to sustain the pool's future. We are in discussions with Hampshire County Council (which owns the pool) & other local bodies including the Parish Council, our Borough Councillors & the ORC to see if we can devise an alternative management & funding arrangement to keep the pool.
This is not just a purely funding issue. Whilst we always need more funds, the Club is in a healthy financial position & is able to contribute a larger proportion of the operational costs to cover the school's share. This is not enough, however, as the school does not have the human resources to manage & be responsible for the pool as it is currently. Recent government cuts to the school's budget have certainly not helped, making it increasingly difficult for the school to cover costs like those associated with the pool.
No-one should be under any illusion that this will be an easy task for our group of volunteers. It will be a considerable amount of work & is likely to rest on whether HCC is prepared to lease the pool to an outside body. If we manage to devise a solution, we will need even more support & physical help from the community to run the pool. Given that we still struggle at times to get cover for odd swimming sessions, I can't emphasise enough that if we are successful & the community wants to keep the pool, we will need more people to come forward with a commitment give their time to help. If we want it, we're going to have to work for it.
We are also working closely with the school & Governors with whom we have our next meeting next Wednesday to assess progress. We will, of course, keep you updated & let you know how you can help. I'd like at this stage to ask anyone in the community who has any experience or expertise that could be relevant - legal, for example - to please get in touch with me. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly by messaging me on Facebook or emailing me at: email@example.com.
Let's do this!
Lauren McCann (LSC Chair & Trustee)