Wednesday 22 February 2023

"Private Use Only: The Tory Party's True Colours on Display?" #saveourpools #sustainability #bigswimday

"Our Pools are in Crisis!

Public swimming pools across the UK are under threat from high energy costs, soaring operating costs and continual annual reductions in local authority funding. 81% of our members, who operate over 850 pools, have indicated that their services are at risk. Their closure would be a catastrophic blow to the nation’s health and wellbeing.

What’s at Risk?

More than ONE Million children learn to swim on the Swim England Swim Programme every year, meaning the loss of a vital lifeskill for a generation of young people.

Accessibly priced healthy exercise for those unable to pay the cost of private club entry, during a cost of living crisis.

An irreparable blow to elite sporting development in the future, losing us our medal-winners of the future.

A route to better public health when our mental and physical health has been under pressure from COVID and declining cost of living.

In Wales 500,000 adults and children swim each week.

Duncan Goodhew MBE

“This is make-or-break time for an alarming number of swimming pools across the UK. It’s madness that the Government doesn’t seem able to see the danger they are in.

“Without pools and leisure centres being classed as vulnerable, the astronomical energy price hikes their operators face will sadly be the final fatal blow for many.

“It’s obvious that we cannot afford for communities to be robbed of swimming pools. People have never needed help with their health and wellbeing more. Yet, without political and financial support, they are going to have fewer places than ever to do that.

“I’ve seen thousands of children learn to swim in their local pools. If there aren’t the places to teach these life-improving – lifesaving – skills they will be lost for a generation.”

How You Can Help

  • Find your local MP’s email address and write to them explaining what your local pool means to you. Your pool might be a place of solace for you that improves mental health. You might train there hoping one day to win Olympic Gold or it may be crucial to allowing your child to learn to swim. Whatever your reason, please let them know.
  • Join our Big Swim Day on Friday 24th February, when we aim to get the country swimming in their local public pools to highlight their plight. Make sure you take a swim that day, to make the point that it’s a valued local facility. Invite your friends, more swimmers making a bigger noise, and having a great time in the process.
  • Follow us on social media, and use the #saveourpools with a photo of your favourite local swimming pool.

Big Swim Day – Friday 24 February 2023

All over the country, on Friday 24th February, we’re encouraging local people to join us for a swim as part of Big Swim Day.

Bring your friends, have a great time and in doing so, let everyone know how important continued access to your local public pool is to you and your community.

Tell the world (and your friends!) that you’re taking part by using #bigswimday and #saveourpools on social media, and do your bit to preserve a vital local facility, and those like them across the country.

Across the country 800 community pools are at risk – let’s swim, make a splash, and let everyone know that public pools are vital to local communities.[ Find out more.]( in a new tab))

Make Your Voice Heard

Share your stories on social media under the hashtag #saveourpools.

Explain why you love swimming, how it helps you achieve your goals and how’s it may have changed your life for the better.

Follow us on Twitter at @CommLeisureUK or find us on [LinkedIn]( t)

Latest News

Get the latest news on the Save Our Pools Campaign

"A coalition of more than 200 bodies and individuals from the worlds of health, sport, recreation, and leisure including Freedom Leisure has written to the Prime Minister with an urgent plea for greater support for grassroots facilities and clubs amid the ongoing energy crisis.

With energy costs relief for the UK’s swimming pools, leisure centres, community facilities, and gyms ending on 31 March, thousands of facilities and clubs are at risk of permanent closure or reduced services, as public and private sector organisations of all sizes face unprecedented financial challenges, with bills remaining up to 200% higher than normal.

For public leisure operators running services within local authorities, the latest data from ukactive’s members shows that 31% of council areas in England remain at risk of losing their leisure centre(s) or seeing reduced services at their leisure centre(s), from 1 April**, with around 350 facilities nationally already having seen service restrictions, temporary and permanent closures since October 2022.

The signatories of the letter range from major health bodies to sport’s national governing bodies, and the nation’s biggest fitness and leisure groups, while athletes such as Rebecca Adlington and celebrities including Davina McCall have also added their support.

The letter warns that, “Failure to identify bespoke support for the sector (and schools operating sports facilities) as part of the Energy Bills Discount Scheme will be the final straw for many facilities and services – especially swimming pools.

Without national intervention, communities will see the loss of essential local services, including swimming lessons for children which are vital for water safety; multi-sport offerings; mental health services; bespoke programmes for older citizens, ethnically diverse communities, women and girls, and disabled people; and long-term health programmes including cancer rehabilitation and support for those with musculoskeletal conditions and type 2 diabetes*.”:

*Italics mine.

Quote; "I have managed to get myself to A&E at Southampton General twice, on each occasion under lock-down and whilst “shielding”. On both occasions I was suffering from the worsening of a chronic condition due to lock-down stress. The worsening of these conditions was directly related to my inability to access the proper prescribed therapy, that of swimming/aqua-yoga/aqua-aerobics, for the serious and life-changing injuries I sustained as a teenager which caused me to suffer from tissue-damage, muscle-loss, nerve-damage, skeletal, spinal cord and circulatory problems.

I also managed to secure a “Smart Cities” card from the Southampton Unitary Authority the “Get Active” component of which is an entitlement as I receive PIP. What this means, effectively, is that my physician recommends that I engage in certain forms of therapy regularly and that I have a “smart-chipped” card with my photograph on it that entitles me to greater access to such therapy.

As a result of not undergoing therapy I over-strained two old injuries one of which (to my back, pelvis and leg), has become considerably more troublesome and I can be virtually unable to move for days at a stretch. The A&E doctor prescribed a change of pain medication that increased my opioid dose from 4/day Co-codamol 8/500 to 6/day Dihydrocodeine 30mg and I reported to the doctor that the worsening of my condition had induced a self-harm episode. My GP has since concurred with the decision to increase my opioid dose and I now receive Dihydrocodeine on repeat prescription, this is not a solution for chronic pain but medical marijuana (not useless CBD “extract”), is still not available on prescription in Britain.

As I have been shielding I was unable to attend my appointment with Southampton NHS neurology last year but do intend to attend one in August. With various aspects of my conditions worsening and having already attended A&E twice I don’t intend to wait any longer.

It is my contention that provision should be made during a pandemic for patients who require access to prescribed/recommended therapies and if this means only letting those who can prove (and with a Smart Cities card such verification is easy), their status have such access then so be it. This may sound harsh but I reiterate I’ve had to attend A&E twice, whilst shielding, during lock-down!"*:

*My analysis of some of the human rights issues related to lockdown (re: provision of “aqua”/swimming therapies), has been ignored even by people like Corbyn (and I wouldn’t expect the faux human rights lawyer Starmer to do anything but), and now we see provision of any kind, re: those who require access to facilities offering non-weight bearing exercise, being threatened (first did they come for the anti-Semites Keir?).

Just remember these Tory #####s have their own pools whether private or personal and their own gyms ditto, neither do they swim in the waters around our coasts so care little how polluted they are. Why should one when one holidays in the Maldives

It would seem to be an environmental, or "Climate Change", issue too for one of the simplest sustainable systems is straight heat-to-water/"Solar Thermal" panelling, in-fact most pools are suitable for the installation of full solar arrays*. What manner of economy is it not to install such systems on the rooves of our leisure centres? The answer, of-course, is a false one!

*These can be linked to the national grid.

Quote; "“unsustainable economy” is an oxymoron” No? I thought about this…many would argue (and many on the “left” also), that “short-term” “profit-taking” exploitative economies exist…but do they? Can we truly call them “economies”? For one thing; “how long is your piece of string?” We define economies by describing relationships (they are “relative”), there is a chronological imperative concerned, one cannot (surely), argue that a 5 year “un-sustainability” is an economy whilst a 3 month one is not! 

Economy, of-course, also can be “of effort”, in other words efficient…there is no “economy of effort” in an inefficient system, therefore, we can argue that any economy that is not sustainable does not exist!

If one “economises” one makes one’s actions more efficient…literally one creates an economy.

One can argue that the economy existed for a five year period…but one cannot say it was “un-sustainable” for the same period…period

…and, therefore, sustainability is a necessary component of economy

The system is “open ended” (#opensource), it is emergent

Quote; "Words Based on the Eco- Root Word

Following is a list of words based on the Eco- Root Word:

1. Ecoactivist: One who actively opposes the pollution or destruction by other means, of the environment.
2. Ecobabble: Using the technical language of ecology to make the user seem to be ecologically aware.
3. Ecobiology: The study of the relationships of organisms to their natural environments.
4. Ecobiosis: The conditions pertaining to a mode of life within a specific habitat
5. Ecocatastrophe: Major damage to the environment, especially when caused by human activity
6. Ecocentric: Centering on the environment
7. Bioecological: A reference to the interrelationships between plants and animals and their abiotic enviro ments.
8. Bioecologist: Someone who favors, or specializes, bioecology; such as, an ecologist.
9. Bioecology: The science of organisms as affected by the factors of their environments.
10. Ecocidal: Designed or tending to destroy the environment.
11. Ecocide: Destruction or damage of the environment
12. Ecoclimate: The climate as an ecological factor; the climate of a habitat.
13. Ecocline: Reflecting ecological conditions in general.
14. Econometrician: A student of, or specialist in, econometrics.
15. Econometrics: The branch of economics concerned with the application of mathematical economics to economic data by the use of statistical methods.
16. Economics: The study or the social science of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services and with the theory and management of economies or economic systems which include material goods and financial resources.
17. Economist: Someone who studies, works, or is an expert in the field of economics." Here we can see how closely related the notions of ecology and economics really are, this seems to indicate that the Industrial Revolution (esp.), saw a perversion of the language describing transaction/exchange in order to underpin a Socially Darwinistic model of human evolution, allow this exploitative model to gain ascendancy and fulfil (esp.), capitalism’s imperial and “manifest destiny”. It may, therefore, be the case that a misapprehension of the nature of economic theory has stemmed directly from the exploitation of non-renewable resources.":

Quote; "Solar hot water 

Using the abundant and free energy from the sun to heat the hot water in your home can save you money on your fuel bills.

Solar water heating, often referred to as ‘solar thermal’, involves using solar panels to absorb the heat of the sun and transfer it to the water you use in the home. On warm summer days this can provide all of your hot water. During the winter the output will be much less. On summer days, a solar thermal system could provide all of your hot water

How does it work?

Solar thermal technology works alongside conventional water heating systems. Heat absorbed by the panels is used to pre-heat water that is either fed into a hot water storage cylinder or directly into a combination boiler. This reduces the amount of fuel needed to bring the hot water up to a useable temperature, saving money on heating bills and reducing carbon emissions.

In a ‘direct’ or 'open-loop’ system the water heated in the solar panels goes directly into the domestic hot water cylinder. These systems are very rarely used in the UK because of the risk of both freezing and overheating.

So most solar systems are ‘indirect’ - that is, the liquid in the panels is not the same as what comes out of the taps. Instead, it is a mixture of water and antifreeze, and the heat it absorbs from the sun is transferred to the water in the hot water cylinder by way of a copper coil.

There are two main types of solar collector. Flat plate collectors are dark, box like structures which contain a series of pipes running horizontally and vertically inside them. Evacuated tube systems are a series of glass tubes (above). The vacuum created within the tubes minimises heat loss from the solar collector, particularly in colder conditions. No liquid passes through the tubes themselves, rather the heat is transferred through a heat exchanger which is fixed to the top of the tubes. Evacuated tube systems tend to be more efficient but are also more expensive.

For a more detailed introduction to solar technology, watch the video at the foot of the page.

Is your home suitable?

Here are four practical things you will need to consider before investing in a solar water heating system.

  1. Your roof should face predominantly south. Due-south is ideal but anywhere between south-east and south-west is also likely to be suitable. 
  2. You’ll need between 2 and 5m2 of roof space. The available roof space needs to have as little shading as possible from buildings, chimneys or trees. Any shading will reduce the output of the solar panels. 
  3. If you have a hot water storage cylinder, you are likely to be able to have a solar thermal system installed.
  4. Combination or ‘combi’ boilers do not have separate hot water cylinders and therefore need to be compatible with accepting pre-heated water directly into the boiler. If your combi boiler is not compatible with pre-heated water, you will need to install a separate hot water cylinder as part of your solar thermal system.*

In terms of planning permission solar panels are usually classed as a permitted development, but some restrictions still apply so it is best to check before proceeding."..."Maintenance costs on solar hot water systems are minimal and you should expect a 10 year warranty at least. You can perform a yearly check yourself on the condition of the panels and arrange for a professional installer to check the system thoroughly every three to five years. You may have to top up the antifreeze mix every few years.":

*Clearly this refers to domestic systems, economies of scale apply for public buildings.

Quote; "We are also losing public access to the gym and 25m pool in the old county hall Westminster now owned by the Marriott who are demolishing the gym to build more hotel rooms despite a legal agreement requiring it to be maintained. A group are challenging Lambeth to take action!":