Wednesday, April 07, 2010

'Support surges in for girl's Facebook plea to save pool'

The Press and Journal reports on the Save Nairn Swimming Pool campaign this morning. Fiona Cameron and her friend Cate Fraser are pictured on page 4 of the paper. Iain Ramage reports:

'Eleven-year-old's petition swamped with messages backing Nairn attraction

An 11-year-old girl's plea to save her local swimming pool from swingeing Highland Council cuts has gathered a giant wave of support.

Hundreds of people have expressed fury at the prospect that the holiday resort of Nairn may lose its treasured indoor pool, registering their protest on Millbank Primary pupil Fiona Cameron's Facebook page on the internet or by signing a petition at shops and pubs in the town.

Fiona, a primary seven pupil who learned to swim at her local pool and is a member of Nairn swimming Club broadcast her opposition on Facebook last Saturday, telling the world: "Highland Council say they are going to close Nairn Baths, so I say no. Please help me stop this happening or Nairn may never have a pool again.'

By yesterday afternoon her plea had prompted more than 650 messages of support.' This morning Fiona's initiative now has 860 supporters - well done Fiona! The Press and Journal article isn't on-line yet, we'll link to it as soon as it appears.

Interestingly Sandy Park is quoted: 'I will be looking at all ways to save Nairn Swimming Pool, be we have to look at the business plan and see if we can be more efficient with the Pool.'

The campaign seems to be going well but it is obvious that there is a lot more work to do yet, the statement by Sandy Park confirms that this is a case of 'saving the pool' and if we look to the Nairnshire Telegraph this week perhaps the first paragraph of Iain Bain's editorial gives a sobering summary of the situation:

'Imagine a Nairn without a swimming pool, library or museum. A quite impoverished place you might think, and you would be right. You might also consider that such a proposal belongs in the realms of fiction. And so it should be. But that is exactly the scenario that Highland Council is inviting you to contemplate.'

Press and Journal article now available on-line.


ancient relic said...

Well done to Fiona Cameron for starting the campaign to stop the plug being pulled on the pool. I just hope that all the public faces that have offered their support continue to do so and don't back down

I'm afraid I have to take issue with Iain Bain's comments about the town. I fully support the swimming pool and our library but as someone who recently visited the Nairn museum I can only say that it is a disgrace in its current form. I appreciate that its staffed by volunteers and lacks investment but I have to ask would the town miss it? When was the last time you paid your £3 entrance fee?

Spurtle said...

We know the Highland Council have to save a heap of money and we also know how many of us would suggest they go about saving it but, given that the very reason for the existence of so many of these public sector leviathans seems to be to guarantee the continuity of employment of those working for the same, we're not likely to get far by suggesting some careful 'pruning' of its upper branches

Nairn's pool , however you feel about the mechanics of its day to day operation, is an extremely important part of the fabric of the town. No one at the Highland Council will have any doubt that , to even whisper the possibility of its closure, could have had anything other than the effect it has.

So, do we think that someone at the HC is attempting to focus attention on the pool closure, in the full knowledge that , when they decide the pool should stay, it will make other less ‘headline’ cuts in the town easier to effect? Or do we over estimate them ?

Anyway, for the moment, I will attempt to get the HC to answer two questions :

1. Does the figure quoted for the estimated savings, should Nairn pool close, fully take account of the fact that vast majority of ‘Highlife’ customers in Nairn would cancel their subscriptions ?
2. If there is a pool in Inverness and a pool in Culloden –why suggest closing the one in Nairn ? In these modern times you have to say that its far more sustainable for the folks from Culloden to travel into Inverness, should the pool there close, than expecting those from Nairn to do so.( Of course I’ll be told that it’s a different budget, being part of the Culloden Academy but, ultimately, it all comes out of the same pot)

Well done to the girls for their work on the Facebook page though. The one thing that local authorities don’t like is publicity, and thorns in their sides. Making lots of noise will do no harm at all.