Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cleveland Pools - request for help!

The Cleveland Pools Alliance was formed last year after several meetings between Prince's Regeneration Trust, Trevor Osborne Property Group and the Trustees of the Cleveland Pools Trust.

Everyone played their part in working on a new bid to the council but The Princes Trust's 'writing' of the final bid was instrumental in the CPT becoming the preferred bidder.

Heads of Terms have been signed and the lawyers are debating the final details of the 150 year lease. So major progress since the members who now make up the Cleveland Pools Trust started the campaign over five years ago and we have to be grateful to the Prince's Regeneration Trust for moving things on!

In addition the Cleveland Pools Alliance have been offered a substantial grant from English Heritage to prepare the next stage of the Feasibility Study and Business Plan. There is a just small downside to this generous offer that the Cleveland Pools Alliance have to come up with 20% of matchfunding ie £14,500!

Fundraisers among you please put your thinking caps on and come up with some innovative ideas.

Since early 2009, the Cleveland Pools Trust have been registered to be part of this years National Heritage Open Days, previously organised by the Civic Trust but now by English Heritage and we understand that the Cleveland Baths are included in this years B&NES promotional flyer. You can imagine the dismay when they were told a few days ago, in response to a request for access to do a risk assessment, that all access was denied!

Fortunately one local councillor persuaded 'the powers that be' to allow them on site for the few days before and the actual HODs.

So this is the preamble to the request for help. Those who have volunteered before will know the sun nearly always shines and it is not hard work really, more keeping an eye on people and making sure they are sensible. As before, have maps, photos and possible plans to inform people of the history and the plans will be available. Not being allowed on site until after 8th September makes it extremely difficult to predict how much weeding, moss clearance and grass cutting will be needed and therefore how many workparties might be required.

At a minimum Thursday afternoon and evening seem possible occasions.

The days which the Pools are advertised to be open are the afternoons of Friday 11th, Saturday 12th, and Sunday 13th between 2pm and 5pm.

There is a limit to the numbers of people allowed on site (about 80) and several stewards needed to keep the public safe. It would be great to have a life saver present and some firstaiders too, of course. If we could try and get the swimmers among you to come at the same sort of time, say on the Saturday or Sunday afternoon, it could be really useful to have a chat about your hopes and dreams. Any offers of help would be wonderful and as before you can choose your day and time slot of as little as an hour or a whole session if you would like. Please just let us know and we'll put you in touch!

Failed Labour Ministers £1.4m Pay Out!

Labour ministers who have been fired or left their jobs have enjoyed £1.4m in severance pay, figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats have revealed.

When MPs are appointed as ministers they get an extra salary and pension in addition to that earned as an MP. When they are fired in reshuffle, forced to leave under a cloud or resign, ministers get a severance payment equivalent to one quarter of their final salary, provided they do not take another ministerial appointment within three months.

Nearly 100 ex-ministers have benefited from the handouts. High profile beneficiaries include Peter Mandelson (twice), Charles Clarke, Alan Milburn, David Blunkett, Peter Hain, Margaret Beckett, Estelle Morris (twice), Lord Sainsbury, and the recently resigned James Purnell, Hazel Blears and Caroline Flint.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Steve Webb said:
“People will be shocked to learn that former ministers get these pay-offs even when they have been sacked or left of their own free will.

“Ministers should not be rewarded for failure.

“While thousands are losing their jobs, failed ministers get a huge payout on top of their salary as MPs. This can’t go on.”