Today I've been supporting campaigners in their last ditch attempt to save Treherbert pool. The council decided to close the pool without consultation in order to save money. Campaigners have formed a committee and are prepared to manage it themselves. With help from the Wales Co-operative Centre, they have prepared a business plan which the council has agreed to look at. But they needed a stay of execution. That request was refused.
The pool will now be "mothballed", with the council saying it can be re-opened if the budget situation improves. No-one expects to see budget increases in the short term.
Today was the pool's last day. A small group of us refused to leave at closing time, and one person is still in there.
Treherbert is a Communities First ward, which means it gets additional money to reduce deprivation levels. Treherbert has recently lost two post offices, allotments, the disabled riding school and the park ranger. Communitites First wards are meant to have extra facilities - they shouldn't be losing amenities. The kids will have too far to travel to exercise their right to free swimming, meaning the health statistics for the area can only get worse.
People in Treherbert are left wondering what they will lose next. There are already rumours about the youth centre and people are fearful for the future of the local library.
The upper Rhondda Fawr is within the Heads of the Valleys Regeneration area. How can losing the pool help with regeneration?