The Independent Group fought valiantly at last nights' Borough Council meeting to save BOTH of the pools. Despite submitting several workable amendments with sensible budget rearrangements, to save both pools, the Conservative group were having none of it and were determined to implement their amendment (delivered only 5 minutes before the meeting) to keep Kirkham open but to close St Annes.
Whilst Kirkham will remain open it must be remembered that this is just "a stay of execution" as stated by a cabinet member. No doubt this stay of execution will remain in place until after the County elections next year!
Feelings ran high from the (enforced limited) number of members of the public who described the proposition put by the ruling group, as being "shameful". Protestors claimed that the only reason that Kirkham was saved was because of the County Council elections in 2009. Throughout the 5 hour proceedings, the public enthusiastically applauded the amendments put by opposition Councillors, to try and save the St Annes pool as well as Kirkham's pool.
A spontaneous roar of approval was heard by the public when there was a vote of no confidence of Cllrs Coombes, Rigby and Ashton on the grounds of total mismanagement of the budget.
No such applause or sounds of approval was ever heard for any speeches made by the ruling group. Indeed the Mayor had to call a temporary halt to the meeting because the public felt so strongly against what was being suggested by the Cabinet members. They made vocal comments to indicate their anger.
At the times of voting, which became a predictable outcome, sounds of "baah baah" was overwhelming each time the conservative group raised their hands in unison.
It was also extremely noticeable that hardly any conservative Councillor, other than the Cabinet, made any comment throughout the 5 hours, clearly it was "a done deal".
The majority party were able to win at every stage demonstrating a severe lack of democracy with this appalling cabinet system.
The cabinet members certainly capitalised on their position......it is said that a picture counts for a thousand words! Put your own interpretation on the picture!
Cabinet members voting to close St Annes Baths and the Kirkham One Stop Shop