Category Archives: Meetings

Notice of AGM

The Friends of Moseley Road Baths have their Annual General Meeting on Thursday 12th April at 7:30pm at Anderton Park Children’s Centre on Dennis Road, Balsall Heath.

With the Baths currently closed, local elections looming, a large Heritage Lottery Bid on the horizon and exciting things happening with our Pool of Memories Project, we want to make sure that we are prepared for the next stage of our campaign. Please join us to celebrate what we’ve achieved in the past year and help us plan for the next.

E-mail if you wish to make nominations for the positions of Chair, Secretary or Treasurer.

Urgent campaign action!


  • No more excuses!

  • No more delays!

  • We want to swim!

You may know that the re-opening of the Baths has recently been pushed back to the beginning of April 2012 for repainting of the ceiling (see latest update from Cllr Mullaney).  As Councillor Mullaney says, he has challenged the need to repaint the ceiling, “since from my perspective the baths have been closed long enough and this constant discovery by Health and Safety of yet another issue, just as we are about to re-open has to stop.”

There is a constituency meeting on the 20th March.  We need to send a message to the local councilors, loud and clear, that the pool must be re-opened.  We urge you to please:

  • add your voice and send a message to the local councillors (and/or to us)
  • get your friends and children to send their messages;
  • attend the meeting (see notes below).

Thanks for your support.

  • Messages can be in any format: signs, pictures, posters, cards, letters, photos, videos etc.  Please get them to us as soon as possible and by the 16th March at the latest.
  • Write your message to the Constituency Chairman, Councillor Kennedy, and send a copy to us.  We will present it at the meeting.
  • The Hall Green constituency meeting is at 7pm on Tuesday 20th March.  We will inform you of the venue once it has been confirmed (likely to be in Sparkbrook).

Latest update on closure of Moseley Road Baths

We have received the following update from Cllr Martin Mullaney, BCC Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture:

Update on Moseley Road Baths – 19th January 2012

The final phase of re-opening the baths began on Monday 16th January with contractors moving into the basement to begin work. They will be replacing temporary scaffolding that holds up the floor in numerous places, with permanent scaffolding. This work will take four to five weeks to complete and we are hoping that the baths should be able to re-open at the end of February.

What has confused the issue and the reason for the sudden announcement that the baths won’t re-open until April or May, is concern over flaking paint from the ceiling in Pool 2. Users of this pool prior to its closure in December 2010, will have noticed the flaking paint even then. It was particularly bad on the lower sections of the curved ceiling, on the right hand side as you entered the pool (see the photo here).

The pool was last painted in 2003 and the flaking paint was due to the very high humidity in the pool area, which was caused by the staff not turning on the mechanical ventilation fans whilst people were in the pool. The staff wouldn’t turn the fans on, because they were very noisy due to worn bearings. The bearings have now been replaced and hopefully such rapid flaking of the paint will not happen again.

Since the closure of the pool in December 2010 and the resulting dryer atmosphere, the paint flaking has accelerated to such an extent that officers in Hall Green constituency are concerned that flakes may fall into swimmers eyes. The staff in the pool have removed most of the flaking paint, but some still exists in the harder to reach parts of the ceiling.

To completely repaint the ceiling would cost £65,000 and take over six weeks to complete, thus taking the re-opening up until April or May. We have £80,000 ‘sticking plaster’ money which could fund this re-painting, however I would rather focus this money on fixing the roof of leaks – especially after all the recent lead thefts – and keep this building going until its big restoration in 2014.

Mindful that the pool has been closed for over a year and being quite familiar with the level of flaking, I have disputed the need to repaint the entire ceiling. As a result, I attended a meeting this morning with a Health and Safety officer to decide if the flaking paint was a concern. The officer said that the level of flaking is not of concern.

As a result of this, I have stressed to officers that the pool must re-open once the basement work is finished at the end of February. We will repaint the worse affected lower sections of the ceiling and this must be completed by the end of February. The rest of the £80,000 must be focused on the roof and again these roof works must not delay the
re-opening of the pool at the end of February.

Cllr. Mullaney’s website also carries a report of Tuesday’s Hall Green Constituency meeting.

And here’s a report from the Birmingham Post.

Public Meeting on Sparkhill Baths redevelopment

A public meeting to detail progress and gauge opinion on the redevelopment of Sparkhill Baths takes place next Tuesday, July 26th (7pm) at Sparkhill Cultural Centre, Stratford Road (next door to the existing baths building). The meeting is organised by the Save Our Swimming campaign group and the panel will include Councillor Martin Mullaney, Birmingham City Council Cabinet member for Leisure, Sport and Culture.

Sparkhill Baths - pre-closure

Sparkhill Baths - pre-closure

Sparkhill Pool and Fitness Centre closed in July 2008 following the discovery of asbestos in the swimming pool hall, but a surveyor’s report subsequently uncovered serious structural problems and, following a public consultation process in spring 2010, a decision was taken to demolish the existing structure, which dates from 1931 and is locally listed Grade ‘B’, and build a replacement along similar lines to that currently being erected in Harborne.

A recent Hall Green Constituency meeting agreed to support proposals taken by the Council Cabinet to hand the running of the new facility to the private sector, although the building would remain publicly owned (a similar arrangement will be implemented at Harborne when that facility opens in late 2011 or early 2012).

Local councillors, council officers and Hall Green MP Roger Godsiff have all been invited to attend but with the new building not expected to open until 2014 at the earliest, and the detailed design and specification still to be determined, there remains plenty of scope for public input.

This article first appeared in the Birmingham Press on July 20th 2011

Decisions on Sparkhill Baths Rebuilding

Tonight a discussion on the rebuilding of Sparkhill Pool and Fitness Centre will take place at the Hall Green Constituency Committee. We would encourage all regular swimmers and gym users to attend to ensure that their views are taken into account at what could be a very important meeting in deciding who rebuilds, finances and manages the new facility.

The procurement will be presented in full at this meeting. Amongst the options is Option 4: Design, build, operate and maintain by an external contractor.  This clearly has ramifications for the way our leisure services are funded and managed.  Both the Sparkhill Baths group and FoMRB have major misgivings about the role of the private sector in the city’s leisure services.

The meeting details are:

Venue: Kings Heath Primary School, Valentine Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham B14

Date and Time: Tuesday 28th June, 7pm

Agenda notes can be found at:

Notice of AGM

We now have quite a number of people signed up for the Oral History Training session tomorrow. I’ve been sending messages back and forth to our trainer, Cynthia, and it’s looking really exciting! I believe that there may be a bit of space left, so if you do want to get involved then let us know ASAP.

Thanks to those of you who have been in touch to volunteer in other ways. We WILL be getting in touch with you, we’re just getting everything organised at the moment!

And finally, our AGM has come round again. This year we would like to invite friends and supporters along to help us celebrate our ‘Pool of Memories’ project – receiving so much funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund really is reason to party! We’ll be putting on some light refreshments, reviewing the past year’s work and of course re-electing officers and making sure our finances are ship-shape. Please get in touch if you want to join us so we know how many to cater for!

The details are:

2pm, Sunday 11th April 2010 at Anderton Park School.

Sparkhill Residents Reject PFI Swimming Pool Proposals

Sparkhill residents last night unanimously rejected proposals for a PFI-funded swimming pool on the Moseley School site in Springfield Road. Steve Beauchampé reports on a highly charged meeting (This article also appears on The Stirrer website).

A public meeting of Sparkhill residents last night unanimously rejected proposals for a PFI-funded swimming pool on the Moseley School site in Springfield Road to replace the former pool on Stratford Road, which closed in July 2008 after 77 years of service owing to major structural defects.

The meeting, organised by the Save Sparkhill Baths campaign group, was attended by around 80 residents, Councillors and Council officials following news that private sector firm Pulse Fitness (who already run many gymnasiums on city council leisure sites) had offered to build and operate a new pool for the district in return for an initial £3m of public investment.

But after 90 minutes of what at times was a messy and rowdy meeting, a straw poll of residents voted unanimously in favour of the promised replacement facilities being located on the site of the current pool, adjacent to Sparkhill Park, in what many regard as the civic heart of Sparkhill.

Council Cabinet member for Leisure, Sport and Culture Martin Mullaney came under fire for appearing to favour the Pulse proposals, finding himself isolated with not one member of the audience supporting the proposal, and even fellow Liberal Democrat Councillor Jerry Evans cautioning against the plans.

Evans, who together with Respect Party Leader Salma Yaqoob, are contesting the Hall Green Constituency at the forthcoming General Election, were keen to distance themselves from what was clearly an unpopular proposal. They were joined in their opposition by Labour’s Roger Godseiff, the sitting MP. Mullaney however, as an elected council official, is legally obliged to give detailed consideration to Pulse’s intervention though there is little doubt that their plans hold for him the significant attraction of allowing the city to deliver a rebuilt Sparkhill Pool and undertake essential refurbishment works to re-open the Gala Pool at the Grade II* Moseley Road Baths in Balsall Heath within the £15m allocated to the two Hall Green Constituency projects by the Council’s Cabinet last October.

However, concerns, including the Springfield Road location, the loss of community control over public facilities, the absence of a learner pool in the Pulse proposals and ideological arguments over PFI schemes led the meeting to express support for one of the more expensive options, either a six-lane pool, 60 station gym, sauna and dance studio (costed at £13.1m) or a four-lane pool, learner pool, 30 station gym, sauna and dance studio (£10.9m).

Mullaney meets Pulse Fitness for the first time today (Thursday) to look at their plans in detail, though it is already known that their proposal would involve a six-lane pool with moveable floor, an 80 station gym, sauna and dance studio. School usage would be prioritised during weekdays (as is currently the case at most Birmingham pools) however a separate entrance would allow public access to the site (which also includes a sports hall and floodlit pitches – though these are not part of the PFI proposals). The meeting heard that the city council would continue to set the tariffs for public use of the new centre’s facilities but would be expected to meet an anticipated shortfall in running costs (which includes a fee payable to Pulse for operating the centre) of £228,000 per annum. If given the green light, the pool would be operational by 2013.

Mullaney pledged full public consultation once talks with Pulse had been concluded and the final details of their proposals established, telling the meeting that public opinion would be “a very strong factor in our final decision.” The exact format and timescale of any public consultation exercise is yet to be determined but, Mullaney stated, would be conducted by Sparkhill Ward officials.

Steve Beauchampé

United against PFI scheme

At the Friends of Moseley Road Baths meeting with Cllr Mullaney on 21st January we discussed options for funding swimming provision in Hall Green Constituency.  Three options have been put on the table for the urgent work required to ensure that Sparkhill has swimming facilities.  Two of these involve building new swimming facilities on the current site, with costs estimated at £10m and £13m respectively.  A third involves a PFI pool at Moseley School as part of their new sports and leisure facilities which has been costed at £3m.

The big-sell on this is that the less Council money spent on Sparkhill the more money will be available to re-open Moseley Road Bath’s Gala Pool.

We welcome plans to re-open Moseley Road Baths’ Gala Pool and fully support the Friends of Sparkhill Baths’ calls to ensure that swimming facilities are provided in Sparkhill as soon as possible.  However, we are fully behind the Friends of Sparkhill Baths in their opposition to the PFI model for our public swimming facilities.  We also agree that Sparkhill Pool should remain on its current site, whether that means utilising the facade of the existing pool or rebuilding on the Stratford Road site.

You can read more about the plans and politics around it on The Stirrer website – here and here.  In the meantime we are urging Cllr Mullaney and council officers to ensure that consultation and decisions around the future of swimming provision at both Sparkhill and Moseley Road Baths are transparent and accountable.  Our local pools are in such a dire state because of years of short-term planning, lack of proper investment and politicking.  Let’s ensure that good quality provision, accessibility and the needs of the immediate community are put at the heart of new plans.

There will be a meeting at 6.45pm on Wednesday 3rd February at Sparkhill Social and Cultural Centre on Stratford Rd, next to the swimming baths for all those interested in the plans.  Cllr Mullaney has decided not to attend the meeting, but it is hoped that he will reverse this decision and use the opportunity to speak directly with the public on this issue.

NB. We have since learnt that Cllr Mullaney WILL be attending this meeting.

Rescheduled meeting with Cllr Mullaney


The postponed meeting with Cllr Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Sports, Leisure and Culture will be going ahead this Thursday, 21st January at 7:30pm at Anderton Park School Children’s Centre.

For background on why we’re anxious to speak with him at this point in our campaign please see our previous blogpost: Constituency Financial Woes?

Remember to contact the group if there are any specific issues that you would like us to raise.  Thanks to John and Mark for your comments so far – we’ll be taking them forward to the meeting.

New meeting date

As a result of the inclement weather we have been unable to go ahead with tonight’s planned Committee meeting which Cllr Mullaney, Cabinet member for Sports, Leisure and Culture was going to attend.

We have now put the meeting back by two weeks to Thursday 21st January, 7:30-9:00pm at Anderton Park School Children’s Centre. Cllr Mullaney will be in attendance from 8pm onwards to answer questions relating to the future of the building, maintenance work and the new timetable.  We are particularly anxious to find out more about some of the proposal to re-open the Gala Pool for swimming announced at last month’s Hall Green Constituency Committee meeting.

If you have questions or points to raise but are not able to attend then please use the comments box below to post up your thoughts.

Hope to see you there!