RAF's quick about-turn over Henlow pool closure

THE RAF has done an about-turn on plans to pull the plug on the use of their swimming pool for public use. Families and children were told they could no longer use the pool at RAF Henlow because of costs. The announcement came on Saturday when they were g

THE RAF has done an about-turn on plans to pull the plug on the use of their swimming pool for public use.

Families and children were told they could no longer use the pool at RAF Henlow because of costs.

The announcement came on Saturday when they were given letters that said the pool would be closed at weekends, but the RAF was exploring alternative solutions.

It meant four clubs run by Diane Evans, of Birch Grove, Lower Stondon, were in danger of folding after a decade, during which time she has taught around 10,000 children to swim.


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But three days after members of the Seahorse Swimming School and Mrs Evans were given the news, the RAF relented as the storm of protest grew.

RAF Henlow base commander Group Captain Bea Walcot said: "The primary use of the RAF Henlow pool is to support the training of aircrew going on operations.

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"The use of the pool for other activities by the local community at weekends is welcomed, but understandably this cannot attract the same level of financial support in the current financial climate, where our priority must be to prepare our personnel.

"However my team has been working hard to ensure the pool remains open at weekends and I am now able to let you know that we have secured funding for the rest of this financial year, and we will be informing those affected that the use of the pool may continue."

Diane's husband, Mike, said: "Well done The Comet. The power of the press, the parents and the children has helped overcome what was a very rash decision by the RAF.

"Diane is delighted. From the point last week when we were told the pool was closing for public use to now, when the RAF is saying it has found the finance to keep it open, is very strange."

Susan Devenish of Canterbury Way, Stevenage, whose nine-year-old daughter Lara attends the Seahorse Swimming Club, said: "We were all very angry on Saturday when we got our letter.

"Thank you, The Comet, so much for helping. I am so grateful."

RAF Henlow has done an about turn on plans to pull the plug on the use of their swimming pool for public use.

Families and children were upset after being told they could no longer use the pool at RAF Henlow because of costs.

The shock came on Saturday when they were given a letter that said the pool would be closed over weekends but the RAF was exploring alternative solutions.

It meant four clubs run by Diane Evans, of Birch Grove, Lower Stondon, were in danger of folding after a decade, during which time she has taught around 10,000 children to swim.

But three days after members of the Seahorse Swimming School and Mrs Evans were given the grim news the RAF relented as the storm of protest grew.

RAF Henlow base commander Group Captain Bea Walcot said: "The primary use of the RAF Henlow pool is to support the training of aircrew that are going on operations.

"The use of the pool for other activities by the local community at weekends is welcomed, but understandably this cannot attract the same level of financial support in the current financial climate, where our priority must be to prepare our personnel.

"However my team has been working hard to ensure the pool remains open at weekends and I am now able to let you know that we have secured funding for the rest of this financial year, and we will be informing those affected that the use of the pool may continue."

Diane's husband, Mike, said: "Well done The Comet. The power of the press, the parents and the children has helped overcome what was a very rash decision by the RAF.

"Diane is delighted. From the point last week when we were told the pool was closing for public use to now when the RAF is saying they have found the finance to keep it open is very strange."

Susan Devenish of Canterbury Way, Stevenage, whose daughter Lara, 9 attends the Seahorse Swimming Club, said: "We were all very angry on Saturday when we got our letter.

"Thank you (the Comet) so much for helping. I am so grateful.

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