OPINION - Bricks and mortar needed now?

Next week’s meeting to decide the way ahead for the project to replace Girvan’s swimming pool is a critical one.

For there is now clear, if anecdotal, evidence that the town is losing faith that it will ever be built. The telling resignation of the man leading the volunteer team to find extra funding for the new complex should be the catalyst for some searching questions and bold decisions about the way ahead. In the absence of either, the fears for the future provision of this important leisure facility for the area will only grow stronger. The decision to include the provision of additional leisure facilities in the plans for the replacement of the pool was undoubtedly an imaginative one. However, if the additional expense of so doing has only served to inflate the total cost of the project so that it jeopardises the delivery of its core aim, then, clearly, it is time for a re-think. Girvan asked for a swimming pool to replace the one so unceremoniously demolished by South Ayrshire Council and the question must be asked whether the multi-faceted facility was an idea too far.

So we have some sympathy withthose who advocate a “back to basics” approach and who are urging the Council to release the £4 millions they have ring-fenced and get on with the job they were asked to do in the first place which is to replace that which they destroyed - nothing more. It will not be good enough, further down this rocky road, to blame any failure to bring the pool project to fruition on willing volunteers just because they could not raise the match funding required for the bigger scheme to progress. In essence, all we have achieved so far, since the dark days when the bulldozers moved in, are words and pictures about what might be.

What Girvan needs now is bricks and mortar on the ground if we are to have any confidence that our dreams for a new swimming pool will ever become reality.