Barnet’s Labour councillors will be supporting the #SaveBarnetDiving campaign when their petition calling for the diving boards to be retained at Copthall Leisure Centre is discussed at Policy & Resources committee on 1 September.
Conservative-run Barnet council is planning to scrap the diving boards whilst spending up to £30 million to redevelop the two council leisure centres in the borough. The cost of re-providing the diving boards is £676,000, but the council argues that the diving facility reduces income from swimming, which means the council has to subsidise the leisure centres.
Labour’s Cllr Alison Moore has submitted a member’s item to the committee asking for a further options appraisal to be done and brought back to the committee to include an option to retain the diving facility alongside expanded swimming facilities. She has also asked for the options appraisal to look at possible alternative funding streams including Sports England and the National Lottery to help keep the diving boards in Barnet.
Over 2,800 people have signed the #SaveBarnetDiving petition.
Cllr Moore said: “The Rio Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics have shown what central and long-term planning and consistent investment can do for Team GB successes, so the decision to scrap the diving facility is short sighted and will crush the dreams of those children already taking diving lessons, working hard and setting their hearts on competing in future Olympic games.
“I say to the Conservative administration councillors – don’t be dream crushers, let’s find a way to deliver the two swimming pools and the diving facility.”
1. A copy of Cllr Moore’s member’s item follows:
Member’s Item for 1 Sep P&R: Cllr Alison Moore
The current Rio Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics have shown what central and long-term planning and consistent investment can do for Team GB successes, and to encourage greater take-up of sport amongst both young and older people. The decision to scrap the diving facility at Copthall Leisure centre as part of plans to re-develop the centre is short sighted in comparison.
The diving boards are currently used by the Tom Daley Diving Academy which coaches 28 local children aged 5-11. The closure of the facility would force these children to travel at least two hours, three times a week, to get to the Olympic Park Aquatics Centre. This is likely to result in fewer children continuing with their diving classes and would inevitably deter more young people from getting involved in the future.
The Council is intending to spend £23m on refurbishing Copthall Leisure Centre and replacing the Church Farm swimming pool at a new facility in New Barnet, but argues that the cost of re-providing the diving facility at £676k is too much, and that it will reduce income by reducing the available space for swimming.
I ask the committee to re-consider, and to agree that a further options appraisal is brought back to the committee to include an option to retain the diving facility alongside expanded swimming facilities.
The options appraisal should also look at possible alternative funding streams including Sport England and the National Lottery to help retain a diving facility in Barnet.
For more information contact Cllr Alison Moore: firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568