When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Rethink pool decision
8:40am Thursday 14th June 2012 in Letters
Sir – It seems to me that the MoD has it very wrong in withdrawing the public access to the swimming pool in Ambrosden.
The MoD has stated that the increase in the number of troops relocating to Oxfordshire will result in the time available for public use being re-allocated.
Perhaps they can tell us where all these troops and their families will be accommodated?
I would be interested to know if the MoD is prepared to reveal figures of the military use of the swimming pool on a weekly basis. I would suggest that any swimming training (assuming that the PT staff have properly qualified swimming teachers) is a very low priority in any training officer’s programme. At present I would imagine it is difficult to fit in basic and operational fitness testing, let alone a swimming test.
Even if the military were to use the pool every day, the use would, I am sure, because of work and other commitments, be restricted to mornings and certainly never after 4.30pm! (This is not meant to be sarcastic but honest.) With the ever-increasing size of Bicester and surrounding areas, there is a real need for children to be taught swimming as the waiting lists and popularity of the private swimming schools quite clearly show.
The lessons are run by fully qualified, dedicated teachers, and, yes, they make a small profit after their staff and other overheads are met.
They also produce an income of some £50,000 a year for the MoD!
I urge the MoD to think again, to look at the military use for the pool and hope they are able to publish honest figures, unless, of course, this has been a bureaucratic decision because the administration has become too tedious to the Civil Service.
J. Evans, Bicester