The Bickerstaffe Record
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Ormskirk Swimming Pool – a public service?

12.22.06 | Comment?

Like lots of other parents, I look forward to holiday time spent with the kids, and one thing we really enjoy doing together is going swimming. Strange then that Park Pool in Ormskirk, privatised by the District Council in 2005, should choose the school holidayweek before Christmas to be closed every morning with no information about this on the West Lancs Council website. Hence the kids were disappointed to turn up at the pool at 9am this morning to find it closed.

This kind of (lack of )service, set aside the major price hikes that were introduced when the major private sectop operator SERCO took over the service under the ‘governance’ of a new Leisure Trusst in 2005, really does make me question the Council’s commitment to public service, as opposed to outourcing as much of its reponsibilities as it can manage (fortunately the campaign against its sell of public housing was successful in 2005). This is of course not a criticism of the SERCO staff at the pool, who by and large were transferred across from the Council at the time of privatisation, but of the political leaders of the Council for engineering this shoddy sell off, clearly with no proper guarantees about service provision, in the first place.

There’s little that can be done at this stage to rectify the main problem, because SERCO have a long term contract in their hands, but one New Year’s resolution of mine will be to turn up to the Leisure Trust’s AGM in 2007 and question on the standards of service being offered by SERCO on their behalf.

Best regards

Paul

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