After comments made on the Kinver Past and Present Facebook page concerning the Swimming Pool campaign, Jan Evans, who was chairman when the campaign was wound up, was compelled to write the following.
It has come to my attention that there are a few people who are unhappy about the second Kinver Swimming Pool Campaign.
When the Leisure Centre was built in 1973 there was a plan to build a swimming pool adjacent to it. I have a copy of the proposed site. Due to inter-Council politics, it never happened. Hence the campaigns, of which ours was the second.
This campaign was run for several years by a team of passionate, honest and trustworthy volunteers and included a legal team from Higgs and Sons, Brierley Hill. Peter Mathews was the Chairman from 1998 – December 2001 and Jan Evans from January 2002 until 2005.
We wanted to do it right.
It just so happens that I still have minutes, accounts, plans, costings and publicity reports relating to the Campaign from start to finish.
Two thousand five hundred people signed a petition to have a swimming pool in Kinver.
The District Council agreed to give us the land, but no money towards building or running a pool so the committee of volunteers freely and enthusiastically gave their time, expertise and even their own money to raise the funds.
One hundred and ten people pledged (promised to pay) £40,000. This was not collected, because it was only a promise to pay when the pool was finally approved and being built.
The Wrigley Trust pledged £20,000 towards the capital costs, with further monies available for running costs. Again, this money was never received – it was only a promise to pay once the pool was built.
Lottery funding was not forthcoming: Kinver is neither a deprived rural area nor in an area of urban regeneration. Kinver is perceived to be an affluent area. It is not in the top 20%of priority areas. Despite the District Council spending £80,000 per annum on the Leisure Centre, it was reluctant to put money into the Swimming Pool.
The Parish Council was reluctant to commit financial support.
We searched for a commercial partnership but were unsuccessful.
It was decided to wind up the Swimming Pool Campaign.
The Campaign was registered as a charity and, therefore, was legally bound to adhere to Charity Law when distributing the funds. Our legal team advised us on this every step of the way.
A few people had given a cash donation in lieu of a pledge. These small amounts, totaling £377, were returned in 2003, explaining that the project would not go ahead, and were accompanied by a report of the Campaign. I still have these details.
I have a summary of accounts from the beginning to the end of the Campaign.
I have letters from Higgs and Son and from the Ken Wrigley Memorial Charity acknowledging receipt of £2492.17 from the Kinver Swimming Pool Campaign.
I also have a copy of the Community Action Newsletter, where we told everyone how much had been raised and where it went.
These were displayed in Kinver Library at the end of the Campaign for 6 months and during that time nor afterwards were there any comments, enquiries or feedback.
There are many honest, trustworthy people who give unstintingly of their time. They often work behind the scenes, unseen and without thanks. The Swimming Pool Campaign was fortunate to have such a team. These people are to be applauded for their efforts. It is upsetting that their integrity has been questioned by inflammatory remarks, which are close to being defamatory, from a few people.
I hope the above information satisfies those who wonder what happened to the money.
If anyone would like to see the relevant paperwork, please get in touch with me via Andy Calloway.
Vice Chairman until 2001.