Battle lines drawn over school pool closure plan

A campaign has been launched to save an under-threat school swimming pool.

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St Bride's Primary, in Govanhill, houses one of four pools targeted for closure as part of Glasgow City Council budget cuts.

But locals have vowed they will not let the pool shut without a fight and are staging their first community gathering tomorrow night.

Mhairi Hunter, SNP councillor for Southside Central, said: "The pool is a very important community resource, not only for children at St Bride's but for other users as well, as it is suitable for our multi-cultural community.

"I will be arguing that this resource must continue to be available and I hope the council will listen."

As the Evening Times reported earlier this month, the council is planning to save £75,000 by closing four school swimming pools it claims are rundown.

Two primaries and two Additional Support For Learning schools are affected, but the council refused to name them until parents were informed.

Today we can name two of the pools as St Bride's and Abercorn ASL School, in Cowcaddens.

Parents have not yet been informed of the other primary school and ASL school hit by proposed cuts.

Council number crunchers say the pools, which are still in use, are not energy efficient and would cost £500,000 to upgrade.

The St Bride's pool is used not just by pupils but by local swimming groups and members of the Asian community.

There are also no other pools in the immediate area following the closure of Govanhill Baths in 2002.

Ms Hunter added: "The school swimming club has had a few Asian girl swimmers swimming for the school in the Glasgow Youth Games – the only school in Glasgow to have Asian girls competing in swimming."

Objectors to the pool closure proposal are to meet at the school, at 83 Craigie Street at 7pm tomorrow night.

A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council said: "This is just a proposal at this stage. No decision will be taken until after the council budget on February 7.

"These Victorian pools are very old and the cost of bringing them up-to-date would be exorbitant.

"If the proposal goes ahead the children will still receive their swimming lessons and these would be held in a nearby pool."

catriona.stewart@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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