|Posted on February 15, 2016 at 4:20 PM|
One of the addresses from last week's Council meeting included a letter from a member of the public to Andrew Smith, Labour MP for Oxford East, who had said over Christmas that he thought having a swimming pool in Cowley would be a good idea. Shame his local party ignored the public and closed Temple Cowley Pools in December 2014. Here's Heather reading out her letter at the Council meeting. The sound is not brilliant, so there's a transcript of her letter below the video.
I am delighted to hear that you are still supporting a local swimming pool for East Oxford residents.
I have a newspaper cutting I keep and treasure of you beaming with delight as you jump into the 1986 Temple Cowley pool with three fellow Councillors. It would be lovely to be able to see you re-enact that leap.
My whole family from my young niece to her 90 year old granny treasure the pools at Temple Cowley. Generations of us have used these pools for fun, to keep fit, for exercise, for learning, for friendship and community.
We have gone there pregnant, with aqua-natal classes to keep us exercising, our bumps buoyed up by the water, making invaluable new friends to share our first experience of maternity.
We have taken our newborns for aqua-babies and ducklings; we and our children have attended swimming classes, from our first attempts to keep afloat to strenuous lengths timed against the clock.
We have learned personal survival and life-saving skills to care for ourselves and benefit our communities.
We have met friends in one of the heartbreakingly few locations where all ages can come together in the same place, young, old, with children and without. We have celebrated our children's birthdays with swimming parties and pirate ships.
It is the last place I saw my dear friend Jacquie Porter, who did so much for Oxford and has the home in Rectory Road named after her, before she so sadly died.
It is not just a pool. It is a place which has played a fundamental role in Oxford lives for decades and has an important place in all our hearts.
We need places like this. We need them where we can walk to them and cycle to them. They need to be in the community, not miles outside the ring road. We need to be reducing the amount of traffic on the roads, not increasing it.
Temple Cowley Pools is no more than a ten-minute cycle ride each way from East Oxford. Blackbird Leys is too far to cycle, especially with children, and by bus or car is well over an hour's round trip, given the amount of traffic on the roads.
Please, please, on behalf of me and my two children and my mother and countless other Oxford residents, please do everything you can to ensure that we in East Oxford once again have access to a local swimming pool.
And if there is anything you can do to delay the wanton destruction of the finest pool in Oxford, with the widest choice of changing facilities, the best water quality, the loveliest views of sky and sunset ... please do so NOW!