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BBC Complaint

Russ | 17.10.2007 11:32 | Culture | Health | Social Struggles | Birmingham

Misleading article on BBC TV news this morning (17 Oct) implied that Moseley Road Pools are under threat due to falling swimmer numbers which is not the case. Threat to baths is Birmingham city council seeking to cut back costs of leisure provision and their neglect of the baths over many years has bought about a big repair bill.

e mail of complaint to phillipa hudson BBC Editor

Dear Phillipa

In this mornings news you included a short item about the Victorian Society list of 10 endangered buildings making reference to Moseley Road Baths as one of the ten. The item said that the future of the baths was undecided due to repair necessary and *a falling number of swimmers*.

The implication was that the doubt over the future of the baths was in part due to a decline in swimmers. However prior to the baths closing in 2003 there was no decline, in fact the usage of the baths, I understand, was on the increase. The doubts over the future of the baths is purely bought about by the council neglecting the facility over many years and due to repairs necessary it has been targeted for possible cuts in running costs of leisure facilities.

Since 2003 there has been a decline largely due to the fact that the main pool is closed and it is physically impossible to maintain usage levels that could be achieved with two pools in operation. Another contributing factor is the closure of the slipper baths. Whilst there has been a decline in the number of swimmers, that is not the cause of them being under threat as your item lead the viewer to believe. The dilapidated state of the building and the doubt over their future has effectively caused the decline in swimming numbers.

I appreciate that the item has taken information from the Victorian Society press release however I think that some investigation should have been made to qualify the statement which on it's own is very misleading and damaging to efforts to have the necessary repairs done and have the baths reopened in their entirety. This item has gone out at a particularly bad time and we urge you to clarify this situation in a future bulletin.

Yours sincerely

Russ Spring
Chair, Friends of Moseley Road Baths