Pupils send posters and letters to Ben Wallace MP in bid to save swimming pool

It may be a small school, but pupils at Calder Vale St John’s CE school have proved they have a big voice.

Monday, 28th September 2020, 3:45 pm
Pupils from Calder Vale St John's CE school campaigning to save their local swimming pool (Photo: Neil Cross)

The youngsters are campaigning for the reopening of Garstang swimming school.

They created special posters and letters to send to Wyre and Preston North MP and cabinet minister Ben Wallace.

The pool, which is owned by Wyre Council but run by the YMCA, closed due to Covid-19 restrictions. While other local YMCA leisure centres have reopened, including Garstang Leisure Centre, the pool remains shut. Talks have been continuing about the future financing of the pool.

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Calder Vale St John's CE school headteacher Rebecca Scholz

Headteacher Rebecca Scholz said: “In our entire juniors there are only 13 children, eight did letters and five posters. They do feel really, really strongly about the issue. Before lockdown all of our children from Year One up were visiting the pool through school to have swimming lessons and it’s something they really, really love. We’re hoping in January our swimming lessons will recommence not just for our school but for all schools in the Garstang area”

She added: “We’ve done a lot in school about persuasive writing and the techniques to put your point across and to get people to agree with what you are saying. When this issue arose it gave these children the perfect opportunity to put these skills into practice and be advocates for their local community.”

Meanwhile Garstang’s Town Council will hold an extraordinary meeting on October 5 to discuss a call to give £12,000 to Wyre Council to help ensure the pool can reopen.The funding suggestion, by local county and Wyre Coun Shaun Turner, was initially rejected. Instead the council set up a working group to consider the issue further.

A spokesperon for Wyre Council said: “We want the pool to reopen and are working with the YMCA to do so when it is financially viable. The council has been working with the YMCA to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and support a sustainable future for the (YMCA’s Wyre) leisure centres by committing, in principle, to fund over £630,000 in 2020.”

Extract from one of the campaign posters sent to MP Ben Wallace
Extract from one of the letters sent to local MP Ben Wallace
Campaign poster by young pupil from Calder Vale St John's CE school