The dismay felt by campaigners trying to save Camelford Leisure Centre has come to the fore today. Campaigner Chris Ingram was on BBC Radio Cornwall's Laurence Reed programme this lunchtime explaining what happened at last night's meeting with Cabinet Member Joan Symons.
Chris used the metaphor of being promised four wheels for your car but then the mechanic only turning up with two. It's simply not possible to drive a car with only two wheels. In the same way, the leisure centre needs funding for a full year in order to allow a new management structure to be put in place. With less than half the necessary money being made available, there will be no time to put into place the necessary changes.
At the scrutiny meeting ten days ago, it was quite clear to me that the Council was promising to fully fund the leisure centre until a long term solution could be found with the proviso that the full funding could not last for more than a year. If Cllr Symons had meant that only £50,000 was on offer then why didn't she say so?
One of the obvious questions being asked is what makes Camelford special when Bude Sea Pool, the Jubilee Pool in Penzance and other facilities are also under threat?
The simple answer is that none of these is more special than any other and all should be saved.
When we held the scrutiny meeting, we were told that local groups were prepared to take over the running of Bude and Jubilee pools and that their futures were assured. Except that this isn't actually the case. It turns out that no discussions had been held with anyone in Bude about taking over the sea pool and therefore the future of that facility is under considerable doubt.
Camelford Leisure Centre is a vital facility for many thousands of people in an area without easy access to other towns and their leisure centres. As the campaign group has pointed out, the costs and travel times for local primary school children if the leisure centre closes would mean that it is unlikely that they would be able to continue with swimming lessons.