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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:48 am 
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-20351389


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:51 am 
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Probably something to do with the £16.5 million. :rotfl:

*gets on soapbox*

I have noticed another recent surge of interest in the old baths (no doubt spurred on by other recent events) but the simple fact is that the council are not interested enough (read don't have the money) to do anything, although to be fair they did spend over £15,000 on it a while back to bring it up to standard, however that was not without a lot of pressure from the save our baths action group and was only done as money allocated to other projects that fell through had to be spent. They issued (again) an "expression of interest" document that nobody replied to (but I won't go into that) so this is why everything seems to have stopped.

The group (in case anyone was wondering) has taken a back seat at the moment as to be honest we achieved our goal of making sure the baths was not allowed to fall into complete disrepair. However, once the current heritage projects gain some momentum we will come back into play and put our views and ideas forward.

The facts are:

The building is too far gone/removed from it's original form that it will be unlikely to qualify for a heritage grant. (but that won't stop us applying for one)

It will never (in it's current condition) be used for swimming due to a few technical issues, not least of all the ancient sluice gates having seized and nobody seems to know anything about them to get them fixed. (in fact the current lease holders (East Coast Adventure) have took it upon themselves to clear one of them out (30 years of silt and dirt in a 30 foot vertical drain is not easily removed) to try and fix it but with no joy.

Therein lies another issue, that of sitting tenants. However, while East Coast are there they do look after the building as best they can within the tight budgets they themselves face, this is not helped however by the mindless and petty vandals that consistently try to damage the building and put back by years all the hard work done by both the council and East Coast themselves.

The "tank" (pool) has some cracks but they have been there since the building went up, and have not got much worse - obviously some sort of repair could be done but again nobody has the money to do it.

What is needed is somebody with deep pockets and a love for the place - somebody with vision and passion that believes (just as our forefathers did) that putting the building back into use (in an even bigger and better form) is the way forward. Yes, swimming pools do not make money, but what they do is attract people to the area and those people put money into the local economy.

We want tourism to succeed here again, and what better way to attract more visitors than a fully functioning outdoor (with a sliding roof) pool and spa complex?

We are well used to the armchair critics around here, there are many issues that need addressed but I ask them what exactly are they doing about it? That's right, NOTHING.

Some of us get involved, we put our heads above the parapets and get criticized from all angles by these people, does it stop us? No. It does get quite tiring having to repeat yourself a lot when you bump into these critics, but if we don't do something nobody else will.

So, next time you see an advert for a group meeting about a local issue, get out of your chair and go to it. No use complaining months later that you never knew anything about it (Elk, Bridge etc) some of us actually care about our town.

*gets off soapbox*


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:07 pm 
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A good wright up Brian, I would just like to ask a few things about the Baths,How long do East Coast Adventure have on the lease and if by some chance the funds are found to restore or rebuild the baths what happens them and do they get any compo? How many consultants reports have the council had and at what cost, Why are the tenders not made public? maybe the public would give it the OK: I bet within the next 3 years N&M DC Will announce anew multi sports and swimming complex for Newry and CLR Curren will forget that at one time they wanted to throw money at the Baths project,(Oh i forgot that was election year ).


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:22 pm 
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Well said Brian !

Its such a shame that over the years so many community spirited people have come together for many different causes yet they do not seem to have the backing of N&M council as a whole, despite the efforts of some individual councillors. In my opinion N&M council is too 'Newry-centric', to coin a phrase, and has too many members that seem to feel they only need to represent their own ward, frequently failing to see the big picture (or perhaps they just ignore the big picture? )..... including the possibilities that attractions like a redeveloped Edwardian baths could offer not just for Warrenpoint but for this region.

Gap...that Newry sports centre / swimming pool....as far as I know they will soon be cutting the first sod on the re-development to the rear of the existing swimming pool. Unfortunately I feel other parts of the district have suffered and will continue to suffer because of the concentration on Newry.

I too would love to know how much has been spent on feasibility studies / consultancy fees on projects that were never really going to be taken seriously by the council ...and perhaps these much vaulted 'plans' that have caught the headlines of the local papers over decades were in fact just a grand 'PR' exercise to keep the locals quiet. ...or am I being too harsh there?

In the near future we will be part of an expanded council when N&M and Down district come together...I don't know whether that will be a good thing or a bad thing but Brian is correct with regard to the need for community action and we must get behind those who have stepped up to the plate already. Perhaps the councillors and officials from an area such as Down district, where they seem to have had some success as regards tourism, will be able to see some value in Warrenpoint. Alternatively, will Warrenpoint be lost in an enlarged council area? Whatever happens, we need to continuously work together and present our arguments with a clear, united community voice .......and never give up !


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