Tag Archives: Balsall Heath

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 contact@friendsofmrb.co.uk if you wish to make nominations for the positions of Chair, Secretary or Treasurer.

£3million match-funding approved for HLF bid

Cllr Mullaney has sent us this update on progress with the HLF bid.  Let’s push to make sure that this £3m of match funding doesn’t suddenly disappear when needed…

£3million now set aside by the Council for Moseley Road baths

At todays Cabinet meeting it was agreed to set aside £3million in the future capital fund, to be used as match funding in a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)  bid for phase 1 of the restoration of Moseley Road baths.

This is a significant development, since the success or failure of a HLF bid will turn on the level of match funding provided by the Council…..and this level of match funding will be looked on favourably by the HLF.

This decision, now gives us the go ahead to start preparing our HLF bid, which will most likely be submitted in June.

The total cost of phase 1 of the restoration works is £8million. With the £3million agreed by Cabinet today, this means we would apply for £4.99million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. With the bid under £5million, it will be considered by the Regional HLF Board. We have a far greater chance of a successful bid at regional level. If the bid was for £5million or more, than it would be considered at the national HLF board, where you are up against the Buckingham Palaces and Stonehenges of the World..

Any successful HLF has to go through two stages in the HLF process. If our bid was successful, then the earliest the HLF monies would be available is 2014.

The phase 1 restoration of Moseley Road baths will require the building to be closed to the public for two years and would do the following:
Permanent repairs to the exterior fabric of the building with a life of 25 years – so basically a complete re-roofing to stop any water ingress
Complete re-wiring and new machinery (eg new boilers) for the pool. We would be particular keen to install a combined heat and power system in the boiler house. This would heat all the buildings along Moseley Road and help to regenerate this corridor.
Pool 2 maintained as a community swimming pool
Pool 1 boarded over and used for community use.

Phase 2 of the restoration would involve getting pool 1 back in use as a swimming pool. Estimated cost of doing this is £9million.

The timing of 2014 as the earliest date for the start of phase 1 of the restoration fits in perfectly with the re-opening of Sparkhill pool in 2014. Once this re-opens, this will allow us to close Moseley Road baths for 2 years for this phase 1 restoration

Our campaign is on a roll!

HUGE thanks to everyone who has sent their letters to Cllr Kennedy and copied them to us as part of our latest campaign!  Councillors in the Hall Green Constituency of all political colours should be in no doubt that the public are passionate about reopening Moseley Road Baths for swimming and securing its future as a swimming facility.

The details of the Constituency meeting on 20th March have been announced:

To be held at 1900 hours on Tuesday 20 March 2012
SPARKBROOK COMMUNITY AND HEALTH CENTRE, 34 GRANTHAM ROAD, SPARKBROOK, BIRMINGHAM, B11 1LU

We will be handing Cllr Kennedy, as Chair of the Constituency your letters.  Please attend and add your voice if you can!

As well as sending in your letters, we are encouraging people to take photos to express their support.  We want to illustrate why people enjoy swimming at the Baths, so get a marker, some paper, some swimming props (be as inventive as you like!) and get a snap that we can share online and at the meeting!  One little boy has already contributed!

I WANT TO SWIM!
We’ll be at Kings Heath Farmers Market this coming Saturday (3rd March), so come along and have your photo taken by one of our volunteers!

Heritage Lottery Fund Bid details from Cllr Mullaney

As promised, here is Cllr Mullaney’s update on the Council’s bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund.  As always we would welcome your thoughts on this.

…I’m hoping to have the report signed off to release the money to fund a heritage specialist to pull together the Heritage Lottery Bid for phase one of the works to restore the baths.

The total cost of phase 1 of the restoration works is £8million. Finance have agreed to set aside £3million in future capital budgets as the Council’s contribution to this restoration. This means we would apply for £4.99million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. With the bid under £5million, it will be considered by the Regional HLF Board. We have a far greater chance of a successful bid at regional level. If the bid was for £5million or more, than it would be considered at the national HLF board, where you are up against the Buckingham Palaces and Stonehenges of the World..

The submission of the HLF bid will now most likely go to Cabinet for approval in June. Any successful HLF has to go through two stages in the HLF process. If our bid was successful, then the earliest the HLF monies would be available is 2014.

The phase 1 restoration of Moseley Road baths will require the building to be closed to the public for two years and would do the following:
– Permanent repairs to the exterior fabric of the building with a life of 25 years – so basically a complete re-roofing to stop any water ingress
– Complete re-wiring and new machinery (eg new boilers) for the pool. We would be particular keen to install a combined heat and power system in the boiler house. This would heat all the buildings along Moseley Road and help to regenerate this corridor.
– Pool 2 maintained as a community swimming pool
– Pool 1 boarded over and used for community use.

Phase 2 of the restoration would involve getting pool 1 back in use as a swimming pool. Estimated cost of doing this is £9million.

The timing of 2014 as the earliest date for the start of phase 1 of the restoration fits in perfectly with the re-opening of Sparkhill pool in 2014. Once this re-opens, this will allow us to close Moseley Road baths for 2 years for this phase 1 restoration

Baths on track for April reopening?

This is the latest update we have from Cllr Mullaney about work to the building and the prospects for reopening this Spring.  A further update will go out soon about a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Update on Moseley Road baths – 26th February 2012.

Work on the final phase to get Moseley Road baths re-opened in April is well under way.

Followers of the present saga to get these historic baths re-opened will be aware of how much hair I’ve been pulling out over this issue. What started out as a six week closure in December 2010 for a simple lintel replacement,  escalated as health and safety found more and more issues to prevent its re-opening.

Each issue has been resolved and we are now on the final piece of work to remove all the flaky paint from the ceiling of Pool 2 and to replace all the stolen roof lead.

For more on the flaky paint issue, please read my blog report at http://martinmullaney.blogspot.com/2012/02/moseley-road-baths-re-opening-delayed.html

For more information on the stolen roof lead, please see my other blog report at http://martinmullaney.blogspot.com/2011/11/update-on-moseley-road-baths-19th.html

As you will see from the attached photos of the interior of Pool 2, the erection of the scaffolding is nearly complete. The scaffolding will be complete on Wednesday 29th February – one and a half weeks ahead of schedule.

Removal of the flaky paint using a special epoxy resin will begin straight away. A specially developed Dulux paint for use in a high humidity atmosphere will be applied. Flaky paint removal and repainting will take three weeks.

Removal of the scaffolding will then take 10 days.

Replacement of all stolen lead with a lead substitute will take place in parallel. Also, using the knowledge of the pools staff, efforts will be made to get rid of other roof leaks.

We estimate that all work will be complete by 4th April. The pools re-opening will then be based on how long it takes to refill the pool.

Our response to Labour Party Statement

Thank you all for your response to our campaign so far.  We’ve had an impressive response which really highlights how passionately the public feel about the building as a swimming facility!

The Labour Party has now contacted to us as a result of our most recent campaign, clarifying their position on Moseley Road Baths (full text here).  Whilst we welcome this, there are still a number of issues we feel have not been addressed (this is equally true of other political groups in the city and other councillors in the Hall Green Constituency).  We will be taking these up with local councillors and candidates and would urge others to continue to lobby.  You may wish to include some of these points in your own correspondence.

  1. Your position makes no mention of swimming.  Please can you clarify your position on Moseley Road Baths as a swimming facility?
  2. You tell us we need to ‘all engage constructively’ even though we are only just being given information about the Labour Party’s position in response to our campaign with an election looming.  We are a visible, vocal campaign group yet you have not engaged with us so far.  Given such an appalling track record of consulting with the public and engaging with The Friends of Moseley Road Baths, can you give us a concrete idea of what ‘engaging constructively’ looks like?  How will pool users and local residents be consulted and kept informed?
  3. The last Constituency meeting in January 2012 voted to draw up an options appraisal on the future of the building.  Surely deciding to put the Baths into Corporate control preempts this?  You have declared and voted on one thing in public yet intend to do something else.
  4. Moseley Road Baths are already ‘under central’ in terms of capital provision and refurbishment.   Provision of a swimming facility for the local community and its day-to-day running and maintenance are the responsibility of the constituency.  This is so for all the constituencies, together with an annual amount from centre towards these.  Refurbishment works are capital works and are already under the centre.
  5. Birmingham City Council does have a Heritage Strategy in place, (BCC Heritage Strategy 2007-12.pdf) , and a Heritage Steering Group, and an application for national Heritage Lottery funding is scheduled for Moseley Road Baths this April.  Will you commit to backing the HLF bid which is currently being developed?
  6. The running of Birmingham’s Sport and Leisure facilities is currently out to tender yet you make no mention of this in your statement.  How does this fit in with your position?
  7. You seem to want to put emphasis on the actions of the current administration.  We fail to see the value of this beyond party politics.  This is an unnecessary distraction and we refuse to be drawn into it.  We take the actions of political groups and councillors on their own merit.

Friends of Moseley Road Baths

20th February 2012

Labour Party statement on Moseley Road Baths

We have received the following statement from Labour Party candidate for Moseley and Kings Heath ward Lisa Trickett in response to your e-mails and letters.

Dear Friends

Like many of you, and as a once regular user of Moseley Road Baths I share your frustration at the continued closure of our local swimming pool. Along with the Labour Councillors on the Constituency Committee I support your campaign to secure a sustainable future for the Baths, which was exactly what officers were asked to explore at the last meeting of the Constituency   Committee.

The Committee also wanted to be advised why the current administration had not sought to make Moseley Road Baths a corporate priority which is seen to be the first step given that Constituency Committees do not have the powers or resources to deliver on such a significant asset.

We continue to urge the Council to take corporate responsibility, however, following representations from myself and Cllr Kennedy, I am delighted to be able to confirm that the Labour Group has now agreed that in the event of Labour taking control of the Council, the Baths would be made a corporate responsibility enabling the combined capabilities and resources of the Council, community and key stakeholders to be brought to bear in securing a future for the Baths.

At long last we have a potential opportunity to work together to deliver a positive outcome.  It is critical that we ensure that that we all engage constructively in the outcome we seek and together secure a sustainable future for Moseley Road Baths.  I along with my colleagues look forward to talking with you further.

Kind Regards
Lisa Trickett
Labour Candidate Moseley and Kings Heath Ward

Urgent campaign action!

E-mail

  • 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).

A few reactions to recent news…

Thanks so much for all your supportive comments in response to the reopening of the Baths being delayed once again. We thought that it was appropriate to share some of your thoughts – please do keep them coming via e-mail or using the comments section below. We know full well how passionate you all are about the building and swimming, but feel it’s important that we convey this to others as well. So, here are a selection of your comments:

  • This seems to be poor management again. Is it deliberate incompetence?  Perhaps officers should be personally liable for the results of ongoing neglect of this important building.
  • Perhaps ‘they’ should have the lost revenue from the Baths being closed stopped from their salaries
  • Sad to see the reopening date keeps going back (now April/May).  It’s as though any excuse (now flaking paint) to delay opening.
  • Councillor Kennedy asks does the pool sit as a sport or heritage site – I say it must sit as both.  Keep up the pressure on them. This building must not be allowed to close as a pool.
  • Labour Councillors want us to believe that lead paint was being used in 2004?  They must think we’re mugs!
  • Anyone fancy a sweepstake on next excuse for not opening the Moseley Rd baths. My moneys on a blown light bulb in reception.
  • Hmm, did they confirm which year? Let’s hope it’s 2012. This family needs to swim.
  • Thanks also to Moseley Shoals who sent us an e-mail outlining the impact the closure has had on their swimming club, making it nigh on impossible to swim as a club.

Of course, using this blog is nowhere near as effective as the public contacting the press and Councillors directly – follow this link for details of Councillors.  Hall Green Constituency Councillors will be voting on the options in March, so please address e-mails to them.  Cllr Tony Kennedy chairs the group and Cllr Martin Mullaney is the current Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture.

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.