Moseley Road is still a working swimming baths

Dear Editor, If the Birmingham Foundation is seeking a location to establish a Training and Enterprise/Community Centre in Balsall Heath then we would be happy to show them any number of vacant premises in the area that they could use. However, Moseley Road Baths is most definitely not one of them (Post Agenda, January 15).

Unlike the former Nechells baths building, dating from 1910, that the Foundation now manages, Moseley Road is still very much a working swimming baths, providing vital leisure facilities and health benefits to the population of Balsall Heath and the wider city.

It should be remembered that the 'temporary' closure of Moseley Road's Gala Pool in 2003 was brought about not by an absence of demand from swimmers but due to structural faults and that, for 95 years, the facility has operated successfully with two pools. With the current scenario where just one pool functions, the timetable is unable to accommodate the many different groups and individuals, each with their own specific requirements (from babies floating in rubber rings to lane swimmers, from school groups to disabled swimmers), that wish to use the baths.

We believe that with both pools open and with an innovative management approach (something which the baths have long been denied) there is a future for Moseley Road Baths. One has only to look at the ideas being successfully implemented at community operated pools and lidos around the country, to see the potential for Balsall Heath.

So much of Birmingham's sporting infrastructure has been sold off since the 1970s, not least many of its swimming pools. With the imminent replacement of the Birmingham Sports Centre with less extensive facilities (both in scale and opening hours) at the new Joseph Chamberlain College in Haden Circus, the permanent removal of even one public swimming pool, in an area where levels of heart disease and diabetes are significantly above the Birmingham average and life expectancy significantly below, would be very short sighted. A Birmingham Foundation presence in Balsall Heath could well be beneficial. But is it too much to suggest that areas of high unemployment and poor health can have both community and sports facilities - including swimming?

 RUSS SPRING, Friends of Moseley Road Baths


Pants not meeting obligations
Dear Editor, Jeremy Paxman is absolutely on the ball in respect of his remarks on M&S men's underwear. The fact of the matter is that such garments are not meeting their contractual obligations.

This is particularly noticeable by elderly men who have to cope with a low centre of gravity, such as in my case, when one finds the pants slipping down, which can be quite alarming.

May I express the fervent hope that Jeremy's meeting with the chief executive will remedy this worrying situation?

 TOM WAREING, Redditch