Tag Archives: Mullaney

£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

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.

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.

Baths reopening set for late February

‘Tis the season for good tidings, so it’s with heavy hearts that we have to share the news that Moseley Road Baths’ reopening has been put back once again until late February.  It’s now over a year since the Baths closed, supposedly for five weeks, and we’re desperate to get back in the pool!  The Hall Green Constituency has had no swimming provision at all in this period meaning that children and adults alike are missing out.  2012, the Olympic Year will see us desperately lobbying for basic provision – we hope that you can join us in that.

Here is an update from Cllr Mullaney

Update on Moseley Road baths –23rd December 2011 – Good and Bad news

There is good news and bad news with regards the re-opening of Moseley Road baths.

For some background, my last blog update was on 19th November and can be seen at http://martinmullaney.blogspot.com/2011/11/update-on-moseley-road-baths-19th.html

The bad news is that the re-opening date for the swimming baths has been pushed back by a month to the end of February 2012. This delay has been caused by the Council’s own bureaucratic procedures in releasing the money to do the next stage of work. Anyone who meets me over the Christmas period will notice various bald spots on my head, caused by me pulling my hair out over the last few weeks trying to get this money released. We are hoping to have this money signed off in the next week.

The basement is now clear of asbestos. If the report releasing the next stage of money is signed off next week, then the company installing the permanent structural scaffolding into the basement will move onto site on 16th January. Their work will take 4 to 5 weeks to complete.

The good news is that we will be having the Pool 2 ceiling repainted during this closure period. Anyone who used Pool 2 prior to its closure last December, will remember that the paint on the ceiling was badly flaking. This flaking was caused by the high humidity in the pool, which in turn was caused by the poor ventilation. When the pool is re-opened the ventilation will be significantly improved, since the mechanical issues in the ventilation fans have now been fixed. So hopefully, this flaking will not be a problem for a number of years.

By re-painting the pool now – and the money for this will hopefully be signed off next week – this will prevent the pool being closed later in the year due to the flakes falling off into the pool.

Metal thieves stealing far more than lead

We’ve received this update from Cllr Mullaney about work to Moseley Road Baths.  It seems that despite the work to get the building back up and running that determined thieves have been working equally hard to steal lead and copper from the roof.  This is not only a case of stealing a bit of metal, it’s stealing our heritage and could potentially rob the entire community of the facility.  Please do look at the photos we’ve linked to, it’s truly galling.

Needless to say, if you hear or see anything then please shout up… anyhow, onto the update, copied from Cllr Mullaney’s blog.

——————-

There is good news and bad news with regards the re-opening of Moseley Road baths in mid to late January 2012.

For some background, my last blog update was on 1st November and can be seen at http://martinmullaney.blogspot.com/2011/11/update-on-moseley-road-baths-1-st.html

The good news is that we are still on target to re-open the swimming baths in mid to late January 2012. The company removing the asbestos in the basement, finished on Friday 18th November. There will now be two days of inspection and air testing for asbestos and if this is successful, work will begin on installing the permanent scaffolding in the basement – this will take 6 weeks to complete.

The bad news is that the roof of the baths is being visited by metal thieves on a nightly basis. I attach photos (links here, here, here and here) showing the damage they are causing, but as you can see they are doing the following:
a)    Stealing the lead flashing, which in turn will introduce large leaks into the roof infrastructure, causing more rot
b)    Displacing roof slates or putting their foot through roof sections, as they remove the lead flashing, which in turn is creating more roof leaks.
c)    Trying to remove the cooper lightning conductor at the base of the boiler house chimney. If they succeed is doing this, this could be catastrophic, since the chimney would explode if hit by a lighting bolt.

Stopping the metal thieves is proving difficult, since they come with ladders and are prepared to clamber over the roofs, putting their own lives at risk, to get to the metal they want.

We have met with English Heritage who have given us permission to replace all lead flashing with a substitute material called ‘turncoat’ stainless steel. This material looks like lead after weathering, but has the advantage of being very difficult to remove. Lead is soft and rips – perfect for the metal thief. Stainless steel is stiff, can be nailed in place and has to cut by hacksaw.

With the £80,000 for ‘sticking plaster’ works we has successful received from corporate finance, we will be replacing all lead flashing.

With regards the Heritage Lottery bid, we are aiming to put the bid in, in April 2012. However, I’m in discussions with Corporate Finance to understand what level of match funding the Council are willing to offer – this is a pre-requirement for any HLF submission.

Baths to reopen in January?

Update from Cllr Martin Mullaney – it seems that the Baths may be due to reopen in January after all, despite a letter from Cllr Mullaney dated 18th October where the date for reopening was put at the end of February 2012!  Images of the work being done on the Baths plus notes can be viewed here, here and here.

Update on Moseley Road baths –1st November 2011

I attended a meeting this morning with the contractors who are presently working on re-opening Moseley Road baths. The good news is that we are still on target to re-open the swimming baths in mid to late January 2012.

In addition I successfully managed to persuade the Finance department to fund an addition £195,000 of work on the baths – more details on this in a bit

My last blog update was on 29th September and can be seen at http://martinmullaney.blogspot.com/2011/09/update-on-moseley-road-baths-29-th.html

The contractors moved onto site on 17th October and are on target to remove all the asbestos from the basement, from 25th November.

From 25th November, work will begin on installing the permanent structural scaffolding in the basement which will replace heavily corroded temporary scaffolding which is holding up large sections of the floor plate of the building. This work will take six weeks to complete. Taking into account the Christmas break, we anticipate work finishing mid-January and the baths re-opening.

The fire exit door from pool 2, which caused the closure of the pool last Christmas is now fully repaired.

The £195,000 additional funding for the baths, is broken down as follows:

£65,000 to install the permanent scaffolding in the basement from 25th November onwards

£50,000 to prepare a Heritage Lottery bid for just over £5million for phase one of the works to restore these baths. Our objective for phase 1 is to stabilise the condition of the building, so that it is no longer deteriating. This would include remove the dry rot from the first floor and fixing any leaks in the roof.

£80,000 for ‘sticking plaster’ works to get the swimming baths through the next two years, in preparation for any restoration monies. We are arranging a meeting with English Heritage and our Conservation Officers in two weeks time to walk around the building and roof. What we want to do is plug up any roof leaks on pool 2, remove any vegetation growing out of brick work and install temporary plastic rainwater pipes where the original cast iron ones have vanished. Plus lead has been recently stolen from the roof, which will also need replacing.

Baths reopening put back AGAIN

We have received an update on the work currently being done at Moseley Road Baths from Cllr Martin Mullaney. His letter addressed to our group puts the new date for completing work to remove asbestos in the basement, environmentally clean the area and erect new scaffolding at the end of February 2012.

Work to remove the asbestos started on 17th October – we reported that asbestos had been found on 25th August.

There is, however, some possible good news as Birmingham City Council is planning to make a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a first phase of work to improve the building. This is likely to be structural work to maintain the building.

The Friends of Moseley Road Baths and local swimmers highlighted back at the start of the summer holidays on a ‘We Want to Swim’ demo that the extended closure of the building (it originally closed for ‘5 weeks’ in December 2010 and has to date been closed over 10 months) meant that local children were missing the opportunity to go swimming, or even learn to swim in the first place.  With neighbouring Sparkhill Baths permanently closed and other pools in the South of the city either busy or too far away, it’s really crucial that the building reopens as soon as is feasible.

We urge our supporters to keep in touch with local councillors and council officers to keep the pressure on – particularly with a local by-election coming up on 10th November and important local elections next May.