Pensioners strip off to save Scartho Baths swimming pool
TWO pensioners have stripped down to their swimming costumes in opposition to the closure of Scartho Baths.
Both Ann Taylor and Stuart Jaffray have been rallying support by braving the cold in their swim wear to collecting signatures for a petition against the proposal.
Their protest came as North East Lincolnshire Council leader Chris Shaw pledged that if a petition were presented to the council the matter would be reviewed by a scrutiny committee.
However, he said that the borough could only afford to support three pools so, unless additional funding could be found, one of the four – Immingham, Cleethorpes, Scartho or Cromwell Road – would have to be closed down.
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He said that as Immingham was "out on a limb" and the Cleethorpes pool was "profitable" neither of them were in line for closure – and that the choice between Cromwell Road and Scartho had been made in February.
As reported, the pool in Scartho Road will close in about two years' time and a new facility will be built as part of a £7.5 million project at Grimsby Leisure Centre, featuring a 25-metre pool and a new gym.
However, Mrs Taylor and Mr Jaffray feel so strongly that NELC has made the wrong choice, yesterday they donned their swim wear and stood outside the swimming pool in Scartho Road and Tesco in Hewitts Circus Retail Park, Cleethorpes, collecting names.
Mrs Taylor, 69, of Chichester Road, Cleethorpes, said: "I use the pool five times a week and we are hoping to prevent it from closing.
"The pool and everything that comes with it serves the local community really well and, not only that, but it is centrally located.
"There has been a lot of talk about the Olympic Legacy encouraging people to take up sport but the closure of Scartho Baths goes totally against this.
"The council has said that the pool is old and tired but figures have not been released saying how much it would cost to refurbish or build a new one on the same site.
"In fact, there is very little information about the development for the public to access.
"A lot of people are coming to me to sign the petition and they are all annoyed by the announcement. The proposed new pool at Cromwell Road will be small, not as well equipped and it will be less accessible.
"I believe that if the land is sold it will be used for housing and this really does sadden me.
"If the pool closes it really will take a lot away from the area and the town."
Retired postmaster Mr Jaffray, 73, of Scartho Road, added: "We have more than 1,000 names opposing the closure of Scartho Baths.
"I have been standing outside the baths myself in my swimming gear with the petition.
"When the pool closes we are going to be losing a lot of facilities and the council is trying to push the whole thing through.
"I am angry that they have taken the decision to do this without consulting anyone.
"If they have to rebuild the pool, why do they not do it in the same place and make it better?
"I am a regular user of the pool but the reason I have got involved and collected names is for the future generations and for the people of Grimsby."
Fellow pool user Christine Easton of Redwood Drive, Cleethorpes, said: "I have signed the petition because I don't want the pool to close.
"The new one won't be the same size or have the same facilities.
"I use the pool a lot and it is a great shame if it cannot be saved."