When we took Katy for her swimming lesson on Saturday morning the 'independent' market research people were there. They are called Total Research, an organisation that work through and for the council and are paid through the council payroll and the client for this survey is 'Leisure Services' at the council, but the gentleman assured me they pride themselves on being independent. They were giving out forms which involved a series of questions inviting further comment rather than yes/no/'choose the closest option' kind. One of the questions was 'did you know the small pool is going to close next year?' so it seems the 'done deal' is indeed considered to have been done.
Nice of them to do a consultation after they've decided the outcome!
Lots of people were rather exercised about the whole subject and I believe that they got a very vocal and negative response to the decision to alter the use of the building (or initially part thereof). Gentleman says he was surprised at the scale and level of feeling about the issue. Good!
I asked the gentleman whether once their report was complete I would be able to get a copy of it. As the report was commissioned by Leisure services it is the property of the council and it is up to them to decide whether to release it in whole or in part or not at all as they see fit. Hmm, maybe we require a little openness in local government here. So Newcastle City Council will you be letting me read this report and if so when? Gentleman says the report goes back to Leisure Services 2 weeks from Tuesday.
I understand that a certain Stephen Byers MP is a regular swimmer at City Pool I wonder what he thinks? Have you signed the petition yet? You might also be interested in this.