ISSUE: The Chiswick New Pool

Now campaign leader pushes Frank Dobson to dive into the pool...

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e-mailer's response:
"It is important that everybody writes to John Connelly [Hounslow council] as soon as possible. The decision will be taken soon. Chiswick Pool is a great place, the crèche workers are excellent, and it's the only place outside the Hogarth or Riverside where you can do some serious swimming."
- Tessa Stuart  24.1.2000

Hounslow council gets another wake-up call as the pool threatens to become an issue in mayoral race

[Click here for our background article on the issues behind the dispute]

rank Dobson, Labour's preferred candidate for mayor of London, is the only main contender who has not declared himself on the issue of  retaining the Chiswick New Pool as a community amenity.  Now campaign leader and Chiswick resident David Giles has called on Mr Dobson to state his position.

The pressure on Hounslow council has increased since political figures outside the borough have supported the campaign. The Council is unhappy to continue the subsidy of the pool and is considering plans which could limit public access.

Last week, the Conservative candidate Steve Norris joined public figures ranging from Sports Minister Kate Hoey to Olympic legend Daley Thompson in supporting the campaign.

Mr Norris said: "Hounslow Council must give an absolute guarantee that Chiswick Pool will remain open to every Londoner who wants to use it. A members-only club would not be an acceptable option."

Mr Giles is also putting pressure on Hounslow Council leader John Connelly in the run-up to the council budget presentation. In a letter to Councillor Connelly, which was released to the Press, Mr Giles noted that he had submitted concrete alternatives to the council in August and again in September 1999, but had received no response.  He asked the Councillor for a face-to-face meeting. 

Background: Council representatives endured a barrage of criticism from hundreds of residents at a public meeting at Cavendish School on Friday, 7th January, but would make no promises as to the future of the pool. 

The residents' resolution, adopted at the meeting, reads as follows:

"This meeting of Chiswick residents and Chiswick new Pool users strongly calls on:
1.  The London Borough of Hounslow to retain Chiswick New Pool as a public facility open to all upon payment of affordable fees

2.  The London Borough of Hounslow to fully involve a wide cross-section of Chiswick residents, pool users and pool staff in any discussions and decisions regarding the future of Chiswick New Pool

3.  Any Chiswick Councillor who fails to vote to retain Chiswick New Pool as a public swimming pool to resign his or her seat and defend his or her position in a by-election."

20th January 2000