£13.5m swimming pool under threat

NEW POOL? City councillors may have to decide on one of two options.

NEW POOL? City councillors may have to decide on one of two options.

First published in News Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

SHOULD Worcester cut corners for a new multi-million pound swimming pool – or go all-out to build a ‘county standard’ facility?

That is the question being posed in a report which spells out for the first time the options for creating a pool of which to be proud.

A business case has been published which details the pros and cons of what Worcester City Council can expect for its money.

The key findings are: A county-standard site featuring an eight-lane, 25-metre pool would cost £13.5 million, but there is a massive £5.2 million shortfall in finding ways to fund the gap.

A second, scaled down option for a smaller facility has been drawn up featuring a 25-metre, six lane pool, which has a shortfall of £192,000.

Both options would require borrowing – of either £7.7 million or £10 million.

Whatever option is backed, the city council is preparing to sell the current site of Worcester swimming pool in Sansome Walk, and will invest £500,000 from the sale in the new pool.

Both options are forecast to make a profit, whereas the existing leisure centres in Sansome Walk and Perdiswell lose a combined £324,000 yearly.

The business case, compiled independently, says the final option will have to be decided by the council, but adds the scaled-down facility is “very close to being affordable”.

It also calls for a clear decision to be made quickly to avoid expensive delays or the risk of higher prices for design fees.

If they back the £13.5 million pool they would need to decide on ways of funding the £5.2 million gap, which could come from a combination of lottery funding, other grant bids or higher council tax.

Under the plan, the new pool would be open by early 2016 and once it is in operation, the Sansome Walk site would be demolished and sold off. The two-acre Sansome Walk site has a 25-metre, six-lane pool, so the main difference be-tween that and option two is the gym, which would be four times as big.

The report will be debated by the performance, management and budget scrutiny committee on Tuesday, from 7pm at the Guildhall.

Feedback will then go to the cabinet in March, and finally on to full council on Tuesday, March 26.

Councillor Jabba Riaz, cabinet member for safer and stronger communities, said it was an “exciting” time, adding: “In terms of aspirations for the city, some might say we should go for a county standard swimming pool. There are concerns on affordability – there is no unified opinion either way yet.”

Neil Monkhouse, chairman of Worcester Swimming Club, said: “We’ve got to travel to Wolverhampton for competitions – it’s not good enough for a city the size of Worcester. We desperately need a county-standard pool to create a true Olympic legacy, we must get it right.”

Comments (33)

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7:56am Wed 27 Feb 13

jb says...

It's not a complete shock that the council find they can't afford their preferred option considering the state both city and county councils finances are in at the moment. I'm surprised they haven't approached the university of Worcester to ask about a partnership of some sort to finance this if they want a competition standard facility.
It's not a complete shock that the council find they can't afford their preferred option considering the state both city and county councils finances are in at the moment. I'm surprised they haven't approached the university of Worcester to ask about a partnership of some sort to finance this if they want a competition standard facility. jb
  • Score: 0

7:57am Wed 27 Feb 13

Jay1981 says...

Worcester needs a new pool. Dont scale back plans. There is more then enough ground on bilford road for this project. The swimming baths down in town is past its best. The one at lowerwick is ideal for people who live in that area. But in general it would make a big impact for worcester to have a top class pool for the younger kids
Worcester needs a new pool. Dont scale back plans. There is more then enough ground on bilford road for this project. The swimming baths down in town is past its best. The one at lowerwick is ideal for people who live in that area. But in general it would make a big impact for worcester to have a top class pool for the younger kids Jay1981
  • Score: 0

7:58am Wed 27 Feb 13

Landy44 says...

This "debate" is a little pointless. Since we don't have the funding to do it properly, indeed we don't even have the funding to do it with some "cut corners" it seems, the obvious answer is not to do it.

This is a very aspirational plan, and since the money does not exist it should be shelved until such times as the funding exists without the need to borrow.

I recognise the desire for this facility (and it is a desire rather than a "need), but we simply can't afford it, and as a taxpayer and voter, I for one am not prepared to pay for someones vanity project in the current economic mess.
This "debate" is a little pointless. Since we don't have the funding to do it properly, indeed we don't even have the funding to do it with some "cut corners" it seems, the obvious answer is not to do it. This is a very aspirational plan, and since the money does not exist it should be shelved until such times as the funding exists without the need to borrow. I recognise the desire for this facility (and it is a desire rather than a "need), but we simply can't afford it, and as a taxpayer and voter, I for one am not prepared to pay for someones vanity project in the current economic mess. Landy44
  • Score: 0

8:41am Wed 27 Feb 13

sugarlump says...

no, don't partner up with the university - it would mean even more PFI payments, which WE cannot afford! if the dosh isn't there, it isn't there.
no, don't partner up with the university - it would mean even more PFI payments, which WE cannot afford! if the dosh isn't there, it isn't there. sugarlump
  • Score: 0

9:08am Wed 27 Feb 13

pronstar says...

Don't scale back on the plans, scale them up and build a 50m pool which will be the envy of most of the country.

Time for Worcester to think big.
Don't scale back on the plans, scale them up and build a 50m pool which will be the envy of most of the country. Time for Worcester to think big. pronstar
  • Score: 0

10:30am Wed 27 Feb 13

CJH says...

"We desperately need a county-standard pool". No, we don't 'desperately' need a pool. We need the county's infrastructure to be secure before that - schools, hospitals, roads. We needs someone at the council with the courage to stand up and say that the basics need to be prioritised first, then look at schemes like this. As a percentage of the population of Worcester what would be the highest - those who use hospitals or those who want to swim? And which is a necessity?
"We desperately need a county-standard pool". No, we don't 'desperately' need a pool. We need the county's infrastructure to be secure before that - schools, hospitals, roads. We needs someone at the council with the courage to stand up and say that the basics need to be prioritised first, then look at schemes like this. As a percentage of the population of Worcester what would be the highest - those who use hospitals or those who want to swim? And which is a necessity? CJH
  • Score: 0

11:46am Wed 27 Feb 13

ushmush83 says...

If the current pool is a 6 lane 25m pool, and the new 'scaled' back version is a 6 lane 25m pool, one must ask, what would be the point? And how have they forecast profit, if the two existing facilities run at a loss?
If the current pool is a 6 lane 25m pool, and the new 'scaled' back version is a 6 lane 25m pool, one must ask, what would be the point? And how have they forecast profit, if the two existing facilities run at a loss? ushmush83
  • Score: 0

12:08pm Wed 27 Feb 13

CityBlueBoy says...

Scale it back, and put money into the Perdiswell Project as a whole, why not join forces with the football clubs supporters trust and do a joint project and make Perdiswell a facility along the lines of others around the country, surely joining forces would open up other areas of funding also ?
Scale it back, and put money into the Perdiswell Project as a whole, why not join forces with the football clubs supporters trust and do a joint project and make Perdiswell a facility along the lines of others around the country, surely joining forces would open up other areas of funding also ? CityBlueBoy
  • Score: 0

12:13pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Andy_R says...

ushmush83 is right. Why should we believe that the new pool will be profitable when the old facilities are not? A 50m pool is a bad idea, because they constantly get closed to the public so a few 'elite athletes' can train there. As for a gym that's four times as big, doesn't Worcester have more than enough gyms already? The laughably named Fitness for free* (*£15.95 a month) only opened a few weeks back, and the one in Farrier street went bust a couple of years ago.

A pool is nice, but it's a luxury, if a new pool can't be funded by selling off the old one, why are we doing it at all?
Every time the council has £8.3m so spend, it shouldn't buy something that costs £13.5 million with a £5.2 "gap", it should stick it in bit pot marked "dualling the A4440 and builidng the north ring road" and when there's enough in there, they can actually do something about the permanent traffic problems round here.
ushmush83 is right. Why should we believe that the new pool will be profitable when the old facilities are not? A 50m pool is a bad idea, because they constantly get closed to the public so a few 'elite athletes' can train there. As for a gym that's four times as big, doesn't Worcester have more than enough gyms already? The laughably named Fitness for free* (*£15.95 a month) only opened a few weeks back, and the one in Farrier street went bust a couple of years ago. A pool is nice, but it's a luxury, if a new pool can't be funded by selling off the old one, why are we doing it at all? Every time the council has £8.3m so spend, it shouldn't buy something that costs £13.5 million with a £5.2 "gap", it should stick it in bit pot marked "dualling the A4440 and builidng the north ring road" and when there's enough in there, they can actually do something about the permanent traffic problems round here. Andy_R
  • Score: 0

12:50pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Maggie Would says...

Andy_R wrote:
ushmush83 is right. Why should we believe that the new pool will be profitable when the old facilities are not? A 50m pool is a bad idea, because they constantly get closed to the public so a few 'elite athletes' can train there. As for a gym that's four times as big, doesn't Worcester have more than enough gyms already? The laughably named Fitness for free* (*£15.95 a month) only opened a few weeks back, and the one in Farrier street went bust a couple of years ago.

A pool is nice, but it's a luxury, if a new pool can't be funded by selling off the old one, why are we doing it at all?
Every time the council has £8.3m so spend, it shouldn't buy something that costs £13.5 million with a £5.2 "gap", it should stick it in bit pot marked "dualling the A4440 and builidng the north ring road" and when there's enough in there, they can actually do something about the permanent traffic problems round here.
You are mixing up councils here. The A4440 and northern ring road are the responsibility of the county council, while the pool is being planned by the city council.
[quote][p][bold]Andy_R[/bold] wrote: ushmush83 is right. Why should we believe that the new pool will be profitable when the old facilities are not? A 50m pool is a bad idea, because they constantly get closed to the public so a few 'elite athletes' can train there. As for a gym that's four times as big, doesn't Worcester have more than enough gyms already? The laughably named Fitness for free* (*£15.95 a month) only opened a few weeks back, and the one in Farrier street went bust a couple of years ago. A pool is nice, but it's a luxury, if a new pool can't be funded by selling off the old one, why are we doing it at all? Every time the council has £8.3m so spend, it shouldn't buy something that costs £13.5 million with a £5.2 "gap", it should stick it in bit pot marked "dualling the A4440 and builidng the north ring road" and when there's enough in there, they can actually do something about the permanent traffic problems round here.[/p][/quote]You are mixing up councils here. The A4440 and northern ring road are the responsibility of the county council, while the pool is being planned by the city council. Maggie Would
  • Score: 0

1:38pm Wed 27 Feb 13

More Tea Vicar says...

A building like this should last decades, so penny-pinching makes no sense. If we are going to proceed, it needs to be done properly.

There should of course be a debate about whether we 'need' this facility at all, but I can imagine it being a very useful addition to the city.

In many ways, now is the right time to be investing in major projects like this. It's a way of getting the economy moving, taking up slack in the construction sector, and, hopefully, making use of low industrial prices.

Much easier to do now than when the economy is in full swing, and companies are turning away business.
A building like this should last decades, so penny-pinching makes no sense. If we are going to proceed, it needs to be done properly. There should of course be a debate about whether we 'need' this facility at all, but I can imagine it being a very useful addition to the city. In many ways, now is the right time to be investing in major projects like this. It's a way of getting the economy moving, taking up slack in the construction sector, and, hopefully, making use of low industrial prices. Much easier to do now than when the economy is in full swing, and companies are turning away business. More Tea Vicar
  • Score: 0

9:12pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Guy66 says...

More Tea Vicar wrote:
A building like this should last decades, so penny-pinching makes no sense. If we are going to proceed, it needs to be done properly.

There should of course be a debate about whether we 'need' this facility at all, but I can imagine it being a very useful addition to the city.

In many ways, now is the right time to be investing in major projects like this. It's a way of getting the economy moving, taking up slack in the construction sector, and, hopefully, making use of low industrial prices.

Much easier to do now than when the economy is in full swing, and companies are turning away business.
here here - do it well or don't bother at all....
[quote][p][bold]More Tea Vicar[/bold] wrote: A building like this should last decades, so penny-pinching makes no sense. If we are going to proceed, it needs to be done properly. There should of course be a debate about whether we 'need' this facility at all, but I can imagine it being a very useful addition to the city. In many ways, now is the right time to be investing in major projects like this. It's a way of getting the economy moving, taking up slack in the construction sector, and, hopefully, making use of low industrial prices. Much easier to do now than when the economy is in full swing, and companies are turning away business.[/p][/quote]here here - do it well or don't bother at all.... Guy66
  • Score: 0

9:23pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Horatio One says...

Neil Monkhouse, chairman of Worcester Swimming Club, said: “We’ve got to travel to Wolverhampton for competitions – it’s not good enough for a city the size of Worcester. We desperately need a county-standard pool to create a true Olympic legacy, we must get it right.”


A legacy that allows Athletes ( not a real job by the way - they are purely entertainers ) to retire before they are 30 . There is no real need for anything other than a recreational pool in Worcester . The City is too small , and financially unviable to support it.
Neil Monkhouse, chairman of Worcester Swimming Club, said: “We’ve got to travel to Wolverhampton for competitions – it’s not good enough for a city the size of Worcester. We desperately need a county-standard pool to create a true Olympic legacy, we must get it right.” A legacy that allows Athletes ( not a real job by the way - they are purely entertainers ) to retire before they are 30 . There is no real need for anything other than a recreational pool in Worcester . The City is too small , and financially unviable to support it. Horatio One
  • Score: 0

10:32pm Wed 27 Feb 13

MakeUthink says...

I would really like to see a new, full-size pool in the City. We presently travel to Droitwich to swim. As pensioners, we get an (Over 50's hour) slot on Mon, Wed & Friday afternoons. But the pool is often crowded. I wouldn't mind paying money (a gift) towards the cost of new pool. Perhaps there could be a scheme where supporters 'Buy a brick' It has their name, and the money helps fund the scheme, covering the shortfall.
I would really like to see a new, full-size pool in the City. We presently travel to Droitwich to swim. As pensioners, we get an (Over 50's hour) slot on Mon, Wed & Friday afternoons. But the pool is often crowded. I wouldn't mind paying money (a gift) towards the cost of new pool. Perhaps there could be a scheme where supporters 'Buy a brick' It has their name, and the money helps fund the scheme, covering the shortfall. MakeUthink
  • Score: 0

8:18am Thu 28 Feb 13

More Tea Vicar says...

Guy66 wrote:
More Tea Vicar wrote:
A building like this should last decades, so penny-pinching makes no sense. If we are going to proceed, it needs to be done properly.

There should of course be a debate about whether we 'need' this facility at all, but I can imagine it being a very useful addition to the city.

In many ways, now is the right time to be investing in major projects like this. It's a way of getting the economy moving, taking up slack in the construction sector, and, hopefully, making use of low industrial prices.

Much easier to do now than when the economy is in full swing, and companies are turning away business.
here here - do it well or don't bother at all....
Thanks. Personally, I'd have nothing against upgrading the existing pool and just carrying on. But I can see the case for a new and better one, and if we do do that, it should be done right.

Now is the time for saving, but it's also a good time for investing in the future.
[quote][p][bold]Guy66[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]More Tea Vicar[/bold] wrote: A building like this should last decades, so penny-pinching makes no sense. If we are going to proceed, it needs to be done properly. There should of course be a debate about whether we 'need' this facility at all, but I can imagine it being a very useful addition to the city. In many ways, now is the right time to be investing in major projects like this. It's a way of getting the economy moving, taking up slack in the construction sector, and, hopefully, making use of low industrial prices. Much easier to do now than when the economy is in full swing, and companies are turning away business.[/p][/quote]here here - do it well or don't bother at all....[/p][/quote]Thanks. Personally, I'd have nothing against upgrading the existing pool and just carrying on. But I can see the case for a new and better one, and if we do do that, it should be done right. Now is the time for saving, but it's also a good time for investing in the future. More Tea Vicar
  • Score: 0

8:39am Thu 28 Feb 13

Hwicce says...

If Worcester Swimming Club think they need one so desperately then I suggest they start raising money to fund it.

Or do they only want it if someone else is paying for it?
If Worcester Swimming Club think they need one so desperately then I suggest they start raising money to fund it. Or do they only want it if someone else is paying for it? Hwicce
  • Score: 0

8:48am Thu 28 Feb 13

Guy66 says...

Andy_R wrote:
ushmush83 is right. Why should we believe that the new pool will be profitable when the old facilities are not? A 50m pool is a bad idea, because they constantly get closed to the public so a few 'elite athletes' can train there. As for a gym that's four times as big, doesn't Worcester have more than enough gyms already? The laughably named Fitness for free* (*£15.95 a month) only opened a few weeks back, and the one in Farrier street went bust a couple of years ago.

A pool is nice, but it's a luxury, if a new pool can't be funded by selling off the old one, why are we doing it at all?
Every time the council has £8.3m so spend, it shouldn't buy something that costs £13.5 million with a £5.2 "gap", it should stick it in bit pot marked "dualling the A4440 and builidng the north ring road" and when there's enough in there, they can actually do something about the permanent traffic problems round here.
I plan to close my bathroom so my Elite Wife can use it!
[quote][p][bold]Andy_R[/bold] wrote: ushmush83 is right. Why should we believe that the new pool will be profitable when the old facilities are not? A 50m pool is a bad idea, because they constantly get closed to the public so a few 'elite athletes' can train there. As for a gym that's four times as big, doesn't Worcester have more than enough gyms already? The laughably named Fitness for free* (*£15.95 a month) only opened a few weeks back, and the one in Farrier street went bust a couple of years ago. A pool is nice, but it's a luxury, if a new pool can't be funded by selling off the old one, why are we doing it at all? Every time the council has £8.3m so spend, it shouldn't buy something that costs £13.5 million with a £5.2 "gap", it should stick it in bit pot marked "dualling the A4440 and builidng the north ring road" and when there's enough in there, they can actually do something about the permanent traffic problems round here.[/p][/quote]I plan to close my bathroom so my Elite Wife can use it! Guy66
  • Score: 0

9:21am Thu 28 Feb 13

Landy44 says...

We don't NEED it - We'd LIKE it, and yes it would be wonderful to have.

BUT WE CAN'T AFFORD IT and the WN headline is incorrect. It's not "at risk" because it hasn't yet been approved, and I hope to high heaven on behalf of all of us that it isn't until someone can stump up actual cash that hasn't been borrowed to pay for it.

Madness.
We don't NEED it - We'd LIKE it, and yes it would be wonderful to have. BUT WE CAN'T AFFORD IT and the WN headline is incorrect. It's not "at risk" because it hasn't yet been approved, and I hope to high heaven on behalf of all of us that it isn't until someone can stump up actual cash that hasn't been borrowed to pay for it. Madness. Landy44
  • Score: 0

10:49am Thu 28 Feb 13

mr.meldrew says...

re-instate the old parksys swimming pool.with its turkish baths.they could afford that...
re-instate the old parksys swimming pool.with its turkish baths.they could afford that... mr.meldrew
  • Score: 0

3:03pm Thu 28 Feb 13

A Different View says...

Is a multi-million pound pool really something that the Council should be providing anyway? If the current facilities are running at a loss then surely that means the demand isn't there.

If people want to swim then maybe a better approach is to go to a private facility?

Even if you don't buy my view on what the tax payer should be funding (and I accept that there are people who could not afford to do this), would a better approach not be to subsidise access to a private facility for those who need assistance?

Granted I have not been in Worcester long so I don't know everything that is about but I am guessing there will be multiple gyms with pools?

As far as what a swimming club wants, to be honest I don't see how that is my concern as a tax payer. I played rugby for years, that doesn't mean that I expected the taxpayer to pick up the bill for all my equipment or subs that went towards the use of the pitch etc.
Is a multi-million pound pool really something that the Council should be providing anyway? If the current facilities are running at a loss then surely that means the demand isn't there. If people want to swim then maybe a better approach is to go to a private facility? Even if you don't buy my view on what the tax payer should be funding (and I accept that there are people who could not afford to do this), would a better approach not be to subsidise access to a private facility for those who need assistance? Granted I have not been in Worcester long so I don't know everything that is about but I am guessing there will be multiple gyms with pools? As far as what a swimming club wants, to be honest I don't see how that is my concern as a tax payer. I played rugby for years, that doesn't mean that I expected the taxpayer to pick up the bill for all my equipment or subs that went towards the use of the pitch etc. A Different View
  • Score: 0

3:16pm Thu 28 Feb 13

More Tea Vicar says...

A Different View wrote:
Is a multi-million pound pool really something that the Council should be providing anyway? If the current facilities are running at a loss then surely that means the demand isn't there.

If people want to swim then maybe a better approach is to go to a private facility?

Even if you don't buy my view on what the tax payer should be funding (and I accept that there are people who could not afford to do this), would a better approach not be to subsidise access to a private facility for those who need assistance?

Granted I have not been in Worcester long so I don't know everything that is about but I am guessing there will be multiple gyms with pools?

As far as what a swimming club wants, to be honest I don't see how that is my concern as a tax payer. I played rugby for years, that doesn't mean that I expected the taxpayer to pick up the bill for all my equipment or subs that went towards the use of the pitch etc.
Just out of interest - why did you move here? The county is being paved over to provide Lebensraum for immigrants and incomers, who often come here to 'escape to the country', then complain that the countryside is disappearing....

Very often, it seems we are paying for botched infrastructure projects, which are designed to meet the 'needs' of a growing population. The effect is, higher housing costs, and greater strain on roads and services. As a native, who moved into a newish housing estate, I found it hard to get on the list for a doctor's surgery or schooling - incomers took priority.
[quote][p][bold]A Different View[/bold] wrote: Is a multi-million pound pool really something that the Council should be providing anyway? If the current facilities are running at a loss then surely that means the demand isn't there. If people want to swim then maybe a better approach is to go to a private facility? Even if you don't buy my view on what the tax payer should be funding (and I accept that there are people who could not afford to do this), would a better approach not be to subsidise access to a private facility for those who need assistance? Granted I have not been in Worcester long so I don't know everything that is about but I am guessing there will be multiple gyms with pools? As far as what a swimming club wants, to be honest I don't see how that is my concern as a tax payer. I played rugby for years, that doesn't mean that I expected the taxpayer to pick up the bill for all my equipment or subs that went towards the use of the pitch etc.[/p][/quote]Just out of interest - why did you move here? The county is being paved over to provide Lebensraum for immigrants and incomers, who often come here to 'escape to the country', then complain that the countryside is disappearing.... Very often, it seems we are paying for botched infrastructure projects, which are designed to meet the 'needs' of a growing population. The effect is, higher housing costs, and greater strain on roads and services. As a native, who moved into a newish housing estate, I found it hard to get on the list for a doctor's surgery or schooling - incomers took priority. More Tea Vicar
  • Score: 0

4:49pm Thu 28 Feb 13

A Different View says...

More Tea Vicar.....

Ah you have incorrectly assumed I have come from abroad, I actually moved from Gloucester.

This was partly to be closer to work opportunities in the Midlands and partly because I actually like Worcester and think it is streets ahead of the likes of Gloucester and Cheltenham.

I think my point is not dissimilar to yours in that I do not think the 'needs' of the community should be met by the tax payer.

Surprised about your point re: doctors though. I live in the new Diglis development and have found it not a problem to register at the doctor and also find a NHS dentist (which I couldn't in Gloucester).
More Tea Vicar..... Ah you have incorrectly assumed I have come from abroad, I actually moved from Gloucester. This was partly to be closer to work opportunities in the Midlands and partly because I actually like Worcester and think it is streets ahead of the likes of Gloucester and Cheltenham. I think my point is not dissimilar to yours in that I do not think the 'needs' of the community should be met by the tax payer. Surprised about your point re: doctors though. I live in the new Diglis development and have found it not a problem to register at the doctor and also find a NHS dentist (which I couldn't in Gloucester). A Different View
  • Score: 0

6:14pm Thu 28 Feb 13

More Tea Vicar says...

No, I wasn't assuming you were moving from abroad. I was pointing out that the area is being paved over to make Lebensraum for incomers (i.e. people moving in from within the UK) and immigrants.

The point is, the area is being wrecked by new housing, which isn't meeting local needs.

You might be surprised about the doctor thing, but I can assure you it's true. When the then-new doctor's opened, incomers were on the list before natives.

The tide of incomers is a strain on the city and county, with people moving in for no obvious reason, rarely even to work here, just to commute elsewhere. Crazy.
No, I wasn't assuming you were moving from abroad. I was pointing out that the area is being paved over to make Lebensraum for incomers (i.e. people moving in from within the UK) and immigrants. The point is, the area is being wrecked by new housing, which isn't meeting local needs. You might be surprised about the doctor thing, but I can assure you it's true. When the then-new doctor's opened, incomers were on the list before natives. The tide of incomers is a strain on the city and county, with people moving in for no obvious reason, rarely even to work here, just to commute elsewhere. Crazy. More Tea Vicar
  • Score: 0

6:53pm Thu 28 Feb 13

A Different View says...

Fair point regarding what I thought you were assuming, I actually misread 'county' as 'country'.

In fairness what you are referring to has little to do with 'incomers' as all areas of the country are experiencing the same thing. The increase in demand for housing is partly due to the population increase and partly down to the breakdown of the family unit (1 house used to be enough for a family but now more often than ever before it is 2 houses due to the breakdown of the relationship).

The issue with doctors must be just in your area, as I did not make reference to being new to the area at all in order to register so there was absolutely no preferential treatment given.

Incidentally I would suggest that Worcester survives on the fact it is a commuter city for the Midlands. Like it or not that is what brings in much of the money to the area, people are attracted by the countryside and villages which are more pleasant than other parts of the country. Nothing wrong with that at all, it is the freedom of movement we all enjoy within the UK.

One thing I will say though is that often a condition of building houses is that the developer funds shops, doctors premises, road improvements etc. I agree this is often overlooked and for no good reason. I have also seen it where the developer commits to those elements but only delivers right at the end of a multi-year development, by which time thousands of people have been living there for quite some time.

One final point on your 'incomers' I can assure you I contribute significantly to local tax revenues, as well as local traders and take nothing in the form of subsidies, or any assistance at all from the Council. To suggest that I am taking anything away from Worcester by being here is just not factually correct.

Back on topic though I still cannot see how £15m is good use of taxpayers money given the current state of the economy.
Fair point regarding what I thought you were assuming, I actually misread 'county' as 'country'. In fairness what you are referring to has little to do with 'incomers' as all areas of the country are experiencing the same thing. The increase in demand for housing is partly due to the population increase and partly down to the breakdown of the family unit (1 house used to be enough for a family but now more often than ever before it is 2 houses due to the breakdown of the relationship). The issue with doctors must be just in your area, as I did not make reference to being new to the area at all in order to register so there was absolutely no preferential treatment given. Incidentally I would suggest that Worcester survives on the fact it is a commuter city for the Midlands. Like it or not that is what brings in much of the money to the area, people are attracted by the countryside and villages which are more pleasant than other parts of the country. Nothing wrong with that at all, it is the freedom of movement we all enjoy within the UK. One thing I will say though is that often a condition of building houses is that the developer funds shops, doctors premises, road improvements etc. I agree this is often overlooked and for no good reason. I have also seen it where the developer commits to those elements but only delivers right at the end of a multi-year development, by which time thousands of people have been living there for quite some time. One final point on your 'incomers' I can assure you I contribute significantly to local tax revenues, as well as local traders and take nothing in the form of subsidies, or any assistance at all from the Council. To suggest that I am taking anything away from Worcester by being here is just not factually correct. Back on topic though I still cannot see how £15m is good use of taxpayers money given the current state of the economy. A Different View
  • Score: 0

8:34am Fri 1 Mar 13

Mighty just says...

The current pool is garbage. It's dirty, unkept just like the sauna facilities. God knows what the management actually do there.

The sooner this embarrassment to our city is knocked down the better
The current pool is garbage. It's dirty, unkept just like the sauna facilities. God knows what the management actually do there. The sooner this embarrassment to our city is knocked down the better Mighty just
  • Score: 0

8:52am Fri 1 Mar 13

More Tea Vicar says...

A Different View wrote:
Fair point regarding what I thought you were assuming, I actually misread 'county' as 'country'.

In fairness what you are referring to has little to do with 'incomers' as all areas of the country are experiencing the same thing. The increase in demand for housing is partly due to the population increase and partly down to the breakdown of the family unit (1 house used to be enough for a family but now more often than ever before it is 2 houses due to the breakdown of the relationship).

The issue with doctors must be just in your area, as I did not make reference to being new to the area at all in order to register so there was absolutely no preferential treatment given.

Incidentally I would suggest that Worcester survives on the fact it is a commuter city for the Midlands. Like it or not that is what brings in much of the money to the area, people are attracted by the countryside and villages which are more pleasant than other parts of the country. Nothing wrong with that at all, it is the freedom of movement we all enjoy within the UK.

One thing I will say though is that often a condition of building houses is that the developer funds shops, doctors premises, road improvements etc. I agree this is often overlooked and for no good reason. I have also seen it where the developer commits to those elements but only delivers right at the end of a multi-year development, by which time thousands of people have been living there for quite some time.

One final point on your 'incomers' I can assure you I contribute significantly to local tax revenues, as well as local traders and take nothing in the form of subsidies, or any assistance at all from the Council. To suggest that I am taking anything away from Worcester by being here is just not factually correct.

Back on topic though I still cannot see how £15m is good use of taxpayers money given the current state of the economy.
Property developers and council planning salary-absorbers like to think incomers are necessary, but they're not. The funding you mentioned is a kind of bribe, to get things going.

The difficulties I had with getting doctors etc were real, and the costs are ongoing. In effect, the builder doesn't 'pay', the housebuyers do, no doubt partially contributing to the apparent paradox that the new housing doesn't lower house prices, it increases them.

Countryside is lost, and infrastructure built, to cater for the needs of others. No doubt you do pay taxes, like everyone else. But the fact is, you increase demand for housing and facilities.

So yes, you are taking something away, as part of the whole crazy process of people constantly churning around, and into, the country.
[quote][p][bold]A Different View[/bold] wrote: Fair point regarding what I thought you were assuming, I actually misread 'county' as 'country'. In fairness what you are referring to has little to do with 'incomers' as all areas of the country are experiencing the same thing. The increase in demand for housing is partly due to the population increase and partly down to the breakdown of the family unit (1 house used to be enough for a family but now more often than ever before it is 2 houses due to the breakdown of the relationship). The issue with doctors must be just in your area, as I did not make reference to being new to the area at all in order to register so there was absolutely no preferential treatment given. Incidentally I would suggest that Worcester survives on the fact it is a commuter city for the Midlands. Like it or not that is what brings in much of the money to the area, people are attracted by the countryside and villages which are more pleasant than other parts of the country. Nothing wrong with that at all, it is the freedom of movement we all enjoy within the UK. One thing I will say though is that often a condition of building houses is that the developer funds shops, doctors premises, road improvements etc. I agree this is often overlooked and for no good reason. I have also seen it where the developer commits to those elements but only delivers right at the end of a multi-year development, by which time thousands of people have been living there for quite some time. One final point on your 'incomers' I can assure you I contribute significantly to local tax revenues, as well as local traders and take nothing in the form of subsidies, or any assistance at all from the Council. To suggest that I am taking anything away from Worcester by being here is just not factually correct. Back on topic though I still cannot see how £15m is good use of taxpayers money given the current state of the economy.[/p][/quote]Property developers and council planning salary-absorbers like to think incomers are necessary, but they're not. The funding you mentioned is a kind of bribe, to get things going. The difficulties I had with getting doctors etc were real, and the costs are ongoing. In effect, the builder doesn't 'pay', the housebuyers do, no doubt partially contributing to the apparent paradox that the new housing doesn't lower house prices, it increases them. Countryside is lost, and infrastructure built, to cater for the needs of others. No doubt you do pay taxes, like everyone else. But the fact is, you increase demand for housing and facilities. So yes, you are taking something away, as part of the whole crazy process of people constantly churning around, and into, the country. More Tea Vicar
  • Score: 0

8:54am Fri 1 Mar 13

More Tea Vicar says...

One question which shouldn't be overlooked. Whatever the implications for the city as a whole, what about the opinions of local residents?

If the facility is built, it is likely to have quite an effect on that part of town, in terms of traffic, views etc.

They might well welcome having the amenities on their doorstep, but they might resent the extra traffic and noise.
One question which shouldn't be overlooked. Whatever the implications for the city as a whole, what about the opinions of local residents? If the facility is built, it is likely to have quite an effect on that part of town, in terms of traffic, views etc. They might well welcome having the amenities on their doorstep, but they might resent the extra traffic and noise. More Tea Vicar
  • Score: 0

9:37am Fri 1 Mar 13

pronstar says...

More Tea Vicar wrote:
One question which shouldn't be overlooked. Whatever the implications for the city as a whole, what about the opinions of local residents?

If the facility is built, it is likely to have quite an effect on that part of town, in terms of traffic, views etc.

They might well welcome having the amenities on their doorstep, but they might resent the extra traffic and noise.
It's only a swimming pool, not some out of town shopping complex.

I would have thought a mini-roundabout would suffice.
[quote][p][bold]More Tea Vicar[/bold] wrote: One question which shouldn't be overlooked. Whatever the implications for the city as a whole, what about the opinions of local residents? If the facility is built, it is likely to have quite an effect on that part of town, in terms of traffic, views etc. They might well welcome having the amenities on their doorstep, but they might resent the extra traffic and noise.[/p][/quote]It's only a swimming pool, not some out of town shopping complex. I would have thought a mini-roundabout would suffice. pronstar
  • Score: 0

12:01pm Fri 1 Mar 13

More Tea Vicar says...

pronstar wrote:
More Tea Vicar wrote:
One question which shouldn't be overlooked. Whatever the implications for the city as a whole, what about the opinions of local residents?

If the facility is built, it is likely to have quite an effect on that part of town, in terms of traffic, views etc.

They might well welcome having the amenities on their doorstep, but they might resent the extra traffic and noise.
It's only a swimming pool, not some out of town shopping complex.

I would have thought a mini-roundabout would suffice.
Good point, but it's more than just a swimming pool. It seems to be intended to host major events, and contain a large gym, necessitating a several hundred vehicle car park.

I can easily imagine local residents liking having the amenities on their doorstep, but I can imagine they might have concerns.

Either way, I think their opinions ought to be taken account of.
[quote][p][bold]pronstar[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]More Tea Vicar[/bold] wrote: One question which shouldn't be overlooked. Whatever the implications for the city as a whole, what about the opinions of local residents? If the facility is built, it is likely to have quite an effect on that part of town, in terms of traffic, views etc. They might well welcome having the amenities on their doorstep, but they might resent the extra traffic and noise.[/p][/quote]It's only a swimming pool, not some out of town shopping complex. I would have thought a mini-roundabout would suffice.[/p][/quote]Good point, but it's more than just a swimming pool. It seems to be intended to host major events, and contain a large gym, necessitating a several hundred vehicle car park. I can easily imagine local residents liking having the amenities on their doorstep, but I can imagine they might have concerns. Either way, I think their opinions ought to be taken account of. More Tea Vicar
  • Score: 0

3:16pm Fri 1 Mar 13

BrownSauce says...

Maggie Would wrote:
Andy_R wrote:
ushmush83 is right. Why should we believe that the new pool will be profitable when the old facilities are not? A 50m pool is a bad idea, because they constantly get closed to the public so a few 'elite athletes' can train there. As for a gym that's four times as big, doesn't Worcester have more than enough gyms already? The laughably named Fitness for free* (*£15.95 a month) only opened a few weeks back, and the one in Farrier street went bust a couple of years ago.

A pool is nice, but it's a luxury, if a new pool can't be funded by selling off the old one, why are we doing it at all?
Every time the council has £8.3m so spend, it shouldn't buy something that costs £13.5 million with a £5.2 "gap", it should stick it in bit pot marked "dualling the A4440 and builidng the north ring road" and when there's enough in there, they can actually do something about the permanent traffic problems round here.
You are mixing up councils here. The A4440 and northern ring road are the responsibility of the county council, while the pool is being planned by the city council.
Do they ever co-operate, or are they two separate worlds?

Just interested, as it seems to me that the people of Worcester city will be the main beneficiaries of the Northern and Western links.
[quote][p][bold]Maggie Would[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Andy_R[/bold] wrote: ushmush83 is right. Why should we believe that the new pool will be profitable when the old facilities are not? A 50m pool is a bad idea, because they constantly get closed to the public so a few 'elite athletes' can train there. As for a gym that's four times as big, doesn't Worcester have more than enough gyms already? The laughably named Fitness for free* (*£15.95 a month) only opened a few weeks back, and the one in Farrier street went bust a couple of years ago. A pool is nice, but it's a luxury, if a new pool can't be funded by selling off the old one, why are we doing it at all? Every time the council has £8.3m so spend, it shouldn't buy something that costs £13.5 million with a £5.2 "gap", it should stick it in bit pot marked "dualling the A4440 and builidng the north ring road" and when there's enough in there, they can actually do something about the permanent traffic problems round here.[/p][/quote]You are mixing up councils here. The A4440 and northern ring road are the responsibility of the county council, while the pool is being planned by the city council.[/p][/quote]Do they ever co-operate, or are they two separate worlds? Just interested, as it seems to me that the people of Worcester city will be the main beneficiaries of the Northern and Western links. BrownSauce
  • Score: 0

8:00pm Fri 1 Mar 13

A Different View says...

More Tea Vicar wrote:
A Different View wrote:
Fair point regarding what I thought you were assuming, I actually misread 'county' as 'country'.

In fairness what you are referring to has little to do with 'incomers' as all areas of the country are experiencing the same thing. The increase in demand for housing is partly due to the population increase and partly down to the breakdown of the family unit (1 house used to be enough for a family but now more often than ever before it is 2 houses due to the breakdown of the relationship).

The issue with doctors must be just in your area, as I did not make reference to being new to the area at all in order to register so there was absolutely no preferential treatment given.

Incidentally I would suggest that Worcester survives on the fact it is a commuter city for the Midlands. Like it or not that is what brings in much of the money to the area, people are attracted by the countryside and villages which are more pleasant than other parts of the country. Nothing wrong with that at all, it is the freedom of movement we all enjoy within the UK.

One thing I will say though is that often a condition of building houses is that the developer funds shops, doctors premises, road improvements etc. I agree this is often overlooked and for no good reason. I have also seen it where the developer commits to those elements but only delivers right at the end of a multi-year development, by which time thousands of people have been living there for quite some time.

One final point on your 'incomers' I can assure you I contribute significantly to local tax revenues, as well as local traders and take nothing in the form of subsidies, or any assistance at all from the Council. To suggest that I am taking anything away from Worcester by being here is just not factually correct.

Back on topic though I still cannot see how £15m is good use of taxpayers money given the current state of the economy.
Property developers and council planning salary-absorbers like to think incomers are necessary, but they're not. The funding you mentioned is a kind of bribe, to get things going.

The difficulties I had with getting doctors etc were real, and the costs are ongoing. In effect, the builder doesn't 'pay', the housebuyers do, no doubt partially contributing to the apparent paradox that the new housing doesn't lower house prices, it increases them.

Countryside is lost, and infrastructure built, to cater for the needs of others. No doubt you do pay taxes, like everyone else. But the fact is, you increase demand for housing and facilities.

So yes, you are taking something away, as part of the whole crazy process of people constantly churning around, and into, the country.
Spotting a pattern here, you seem to go off on one without even properly reading the views that you are commenting on.

One of my points was that the increase in housing in the area has nothing to do with 'incomers' (what a ridiculous xenophobic phrase by the way), but a general increase in demand across the country caused by reasons other than immigrants. This is backed up by many social studies and analysts.

Worcester is not growing at a faster rate than anywhere else so it is not just down to a population shift.

Also it is a fact that many people living in the county commute elsewhere for work, a higher percentage than average. Without those people Worcester would not be the place it is or have the facilities it has. Those people bring in money into the local economy and create demand. If commuters moved away wave goodbye to the good restaurants, shops etc, which in turn will result in anyone with money who enjoys those things also leaving the city. It is exactly what has happened in Gloucester over time which is why the place has more empty shops, charity and pound shops than anything else.

I am sure when you were younger the older generation at the time was moaning equally about the increase in the number of people in their village.

And yes the building of facilities is to ease the way for developers, and yes the housebuyers do pay, but you know what, if we didn't pay through buying the houses we would just pay through the taxes as at the end of the day everything that requires funding ultimately comes from you and I.

On the subject of house prices, Worcester is actually pretty reasonable in my opinion. When did anyone ever have the notion that building new houses lowers the price? Look at historic data, house prices always go up over a period of time, crashed and booms are temporary blips in what is otherwise a pretty steady trend.

In any case I have a number of friends who moved away from Worcester.... does that mean I can have permission to stay in your city?
[quote][p][bold]More Tea Vicar[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A Different View[/bold] wrote: Fair point regarding what I thought you were assuming, I actually misread 'county' as 'country'. In fairness what you are referring to has little to do with 'incomers' as all areas of the country are experiencing the same thing. The increase in demand for housing is partly due to the population increase and partly down to the breakdown of the family unit (1 house used to be enough for a family but now more often than ever before it is 2 houses due to the breakdown of the relationship). The issue with doctors must be just in your area, as I did not make reference to being new to the area at all in order to register so there was absolutely no preferential treatment given. Incidentally I would suggest that Worcester survives on the fact it is a commuter city for the Midlands. Like it or not that is what brings in much of the money to the area, people are attracted by the countryside and villages which are more pleasant than other parts of the country. Nothing wrong with that at all, it is the freedom of movement we all enjoy within the UK. One thing I will say though is that often a condition of building houses is that the developer funds shops, doctors premises, road improvements etc. I agree this is often overlooked and for no good reason. I have also seen it where the developer commits to those elements but only delivers right at the end of a multi-year development, by which time thousands of people have been living there for quite some time. One final point on your 'incomers' I can assure you I contribute significantly to local tax revenues, as well as local traders and take nothing in the form of subsidies, or any assistance at all from the Council. To suggest that I am taking anything away from Worcester by being here is just not factually correct. Back on topic though I still cannot see how £15m is good use of taxpayers money given the current state of the economy.[/p][/quote]Property developers and council planning salary-absorbers like to think incomers are necessary, but they're not. The funding you mentioned is a kind of bribe, to get things going. The difficulties I had with getting doctors etc were real, and the costs are ongoing. In effect, the builder doesn't 'pay', the housebuyers do, no doubt partially contributing to the apparent paradox that the new housing doesn't lower house prices, it increases them. Countryside is lost, and infrastructure built, to cater for the needs of others. No doubt you do pay taxes, like everyone else. But the fact is, you increase demand for housing and facilities. So yes, you are taking something away, as part of the whole crazy process of people constantly churning around, and into, the country.[/p][/quote]Spotting a pattern here, you seem to go off on one without even properly reading the views that you are commenting on. One of my points was that the increase in housing in the area has nothing to do with 'incomers' (what a ridiculous xenophobic phrase by the way), but a general increase in demand across the country caused by reasons other than immigrants. This is backed up by many social studies and analysts. Worcester is not growing at a faster rate than anywhere else so it is not just down to a population shift. Also it is a fact that many people living in the county commute elsewhere for work, a higher percentage than average. Without those people Worcester would not be the place it is or have the facilities it has. Those people bring in money into the local economy and create demand. If commuters moved away wave goodbye to the good restaurants, shops etc, which in turn will result in anyone with money who enjoys those things also leaving the city. It is exactly what has happened in Gloucester over time which is why the place has more empty shops, charity and pound shops than anything else. I am sure when you were younger the older generation at the time was moaning equally about the increase in the number of people in their village. And yes the building of facilities is to ease the way for developers, and yes the housebuyers do pay, but you know what, if we didn't pay through buying the houses we would just pay through the taxes as at the end of the day everything that requires funding ultimately comes from you and I. On the subject of house prices, Worcester is actually pretty reasonable in my opinion. When did anyone ever have the notion that building new houses lowers the price? Look at historic data, house prices always go up over a period of time, crashed and booms are temporary blips in what is otherwise a pretty steady trend. In any case I have a number of friends who moved away from Worcester.... does that mean I can have permission to stay in your city? A Different View
  • Score: 0

12:04pm Sun 3 Mar 13

Frodo 4d says...

Build a full size ice rink instead....
Build a full size ice rink instead.... Frodo 4d
  • Score: 0

1:59pm Sun 3 Mar 13

More Tea Vicar says...

Landy44 wrote:
We don't NEED it - We'd LIKE it, and yes it would be wonderful to have.

BUT WE CAN'T AFFORD IT and the WN headline is incorrect. It's not "at risk" because it hasn't yet been approved, and I hope to high heaven on behalf of all of us that it isn't until someone can stump up actual cash that hasn't been borrowed to pay for it.

Madness.
I can see arguments for and against the whole project.

Building, and building now would be a great way to get money spent in the local economy and providing a useful facility, creating employment, too. Moreover, building during a recession means you get lower prices, and avoid delays because of under-capacity.

But it's not worth bankrupting the city for, or saddling us with debt.

I suppose the tragedy is, Labour didn't build up reserves during the good times, which could be being spent now.

And I would question the amounts being quoted, but at times like this, it's unusual to see prices as fixed as these seem to be. I wonder if the actual figures quoted would bear scrutiny?
[quote][p][bold]Landy44[/bold] wrote: We don't NEED it - We'd LIKE it, and yes it would be wonderful to have. BUT WE CAN'T AFFORD IT and the WN headline is incorrect. It's not "at risk" because it hasn't yet been approved, and I hope to high heaven on behalf of all of us that it isn't until someone can stump up actual cash that hasn't been borrowed to pay for it. Madness.[/p][/quote]I can see arguments for and against the whole project. Building, and building now would be a great way to get money spent in the local economy and providing a useful facility, creating employment, too. Moreover, building during a recession means you get lower prices, and avoid delays because of under-capacity. But it's not worth bankrupting the city for, or saddling us with debt. I suppose the tragedy is, Labour didn't build up reserves during the good times, which could be being spent now. And I would question the amounts being quoted, but at times like this, it's unusual to see prices as fixed as these seem to be. I wonder if the actual figures quoted would bear scrutiny? More Tea Vicar
  • Score: 0

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