MORE THAN 200 people have signed a petition in just four days to save Gnosall’s swimming pool from closure.
The online petition, on Staffordshire County Council’s website, was launched on Saturday – the day after reports began circulating that the pool would be closing at Christmas.
Villagers began their battle to keep the pool open last year, when it emerged that no provision had been made for its future when the new St Lawrence School is built.
The pool is in the grounds of the primary school, and is set to be part of the site of the new two storey building.
The petition introduction said: “The pool is not only used by St Lawrence School but also by the community through swimming groups, lessons, life saving, youth clubs, parent & toddler groups, public swimming sessions and other local schools.
“The creation of the pool was originally funded by parishioners of Gnosall.
“In the 1980s the community came together, again, to fundraise to put a roof over the pool. This allowed use of the pool all year round. It allowed the school to regularly teach swimming as part of the physical education curriculum. Surrounding local schools also use the pool to provide the same for their pupils, rather than transporting them to Stafford.
“Swimming is an essential life skill, so why, when reports state that over a third of primary school children cannot swim, are we closing another pool (where the) primary use is teaching primary school age children about water safety?
“Swimming is a compulsory part of the National Curriculum and all primary schools have a duty to provide swimming lessons for their pupils. Closure of the pool would mean funding a 20 minute journey (each way) to Stafford pool.
“The closure of the pool would be an outrage to the community. This is a facility that cannot be replaced once closed and would be a welcome addition in many towns around the UK. Gnosall is fortunate to have such a facility especially when they have no other major recreational facilities with such ease of access.”