By John Wimperis, Local Democracy Reporter: The Culverhay swimming pool should be reopened and a commitment made to bring education back to the vacant school, a councillor has told Bath and North East Somerset Council.
Attending a meeting of the council’s cabinet on Thursday July 13, Southdown councillor and former cabinet member Dine Romero said: “I am here tonight to ask you to confirm your commitment to vocational education on the Culverhay School site and at the same time, as it is the same site, to confirm you do wish to see the swimming pool reopened.”
Culverhay School — renamed Bath Community Academy for its final years — has largely sat vacant for the five years since it closed. But Ms Romero said that Bath College was looking at plans for vocational education at the site.
Ms Romero said: “We know that the current mostly academic educational offer is not right for every child. We also know that we need to build up a skilled workforce for the future. In particular in Green and renewable industries. So I hope you will work with Bath College to see all of these ambitions come true and to bring vocational education to Culverhay.” She added: “The college has asked for certainty from the council on Culverhay and without this firm assurance, potential capital investment and so the project itself could be at risk. So please let the college know that you — we — are committed to vocational education at Culverhay.”
Ms Romero also called on the council to reopen the swimming pool on the site. Although dry sports facilities have been brought back into use as Culverhay Leisure Centre, the swimming pool remains closed.
Ms Romero said: “Swimming is a life skill as well as a great form of exercise for many more people than other high impact sports, and so should be accessible for all. The city centre pool and the one in Keynsham are not near enough to be a viable choice for many local families on low incomes or for older people and so now, with Culverhay shut, they no longer go swimming at all.”
She added: “Culverhay’s aged boilers are well past their best so you could use this as a chance to try something new and radical and showcase your commitment to green energy. Why not create a self-sufficient system to heat the pool, a system which is reliant entirely on renewable energy?”
Council leader Kevin Guy responded: “Thank you very much, councillor Romero. And thank you for restating our Lib Dem commitment to bringing education back to the Culverhay site.”
Ms Romero invited council cabinet member for children’s services Paul May to present an update to the council’s children, adults, health and wellbeing policy development and scrutiny panel, which Ms Romero chairs, in September.
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