Members of the Friends of Bude Sea Pool met with Communities Minister Don Foster, the Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, when he visited the North Cornwall town on Thursday, 9th May 2013.
FoBSP, a volunteer-run charity took on management of the historic tidal swimming pool at Bude in 2012 when its funding was withdrawn by Cornwall Council. The Minister braved the elements on a typically fresh Cornish spring day to walk along the cliff path to visit the Pool which is open access to all beach users. The group, which included councillors Nigel Pearce and Paula Dolphin, and Chris Sims, Cornwall Council’s Community Network Manager for the area, then retired indoors to discuss the challenging aspects of funding and managing such an unusual public amenity.
FoBSP founder member Rowena Hoseason said; ‘The Minister was very complimentary about our efforts and the progress we have made so far in securing grants and developing revenue streams. However, much as we appreciate the kind words, it was a shame that he couldn’t offer anything more substantial. Most of the schemes touted under localism and devolution really don’t apply to a civic amenity like this one.
‘Pretty much, responsibility for the Sea Pool was offloaded by all levels of government; local, county and national, and it was left to the people of Bude, local businesses and the visitors who cherish this facility to save the day.’
The Sea Pool has annual running costs of around £30,000 which FoBSP now fund through membership, business sponsorship, fund-raising and grants. Since taking over its management FoBSP has successfully completed two major structural refurbishment projects and is now raising funds to pay for vital repairs to the retaining sea wall, scheduled for 2014. FoBSP has just recruited its 2013 lifeguarding team, and will provide direct employment to six young people from the area this summer.
You can help to support the Sea Pool by joining FoBSP. Membership costs £10 annually; see www.budeseapool.org/join/