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Brett

Bedlington Swimming School

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A post from Paul from Bedlington Swimming School on Facebook earlier.

 

Thoughts?

 

Hi Guys,

I promised you all an update as soon as i had more info. Well here it is. Unfortunately its really bad news. 
First of all i have to apologize to a few of our clients who think that im not communicating with them, i can only relay the information i have to everyone. Also the one or two that have been asking for their money back. At the moment the company is not in a position to pay this back as non of us have been at work over the past three weeks now. I can only say regarding this, is that if we are lucky enough to get in a position to repay those clients who need or want refunds, we will. Please belive that im doing all i can to fix this mess.
So i need to explain what we know regarding the pool, the lease with the council and what the outcome may be.
As you all probably know now, we were going into a working relationship with Active Northumberland. My lease with the council was ending on the 2nd July 2015. I was called into a meeting with Active northumberland way back in June, They explained to me that they would be taking over the pool, however they would like to continue a working relationship with my company that is trading as Future Bright UK Ltd (Bedlington Swimming School) the relationship would be that they would be responsible for bringing the pool up to other Active Northumberland facilities. I would be responsible for the day to day running of the pool. Also that it would be agreed that they would be able to run the public sessions, as they did last year and early this year. I have a letter saying that they would be the tennant as from 3rd July this year and that my tennancey would cease. But also within this letter they gave me a reassurance that we would continue with a management agreement between my company and Active Northumberland. Great all good we thought as everyone wins!
As the session continued , Active Northumberland had some concerns regarding the building , the chemical dosing system, or as we thought at the time. The council had instructed a full health and safety report,This was done by the council. On the 6th of Aug as you know , the pool was closed first thing in the morning by Active Northumberland, a note was put on the door and i was told that we could not open until further investigations had been done.
We were also told that all we could say was that there was a technical reason for the closure?? No reason was given to me apart from that there was concerns regarding the pool.
I asked for a call off the council regarding this issue. No call was recieved that day. The next day i asked for a call, later that day on the friday afternoon, i recieved a call off the manager of Ashington Leisure Center saying that the council did not want to converse with myself and that they wanted the manager of the leisure center to comunicate through him. I assumed wrongly or rightly that that was because i was not the tennant and that Active Northumberland was the tennant, in otherwords they were not oblliged to tell me as i wasnt as they believed, to be the tennant. So no blame on the council.
Over the following week i was asked to attend a few different times at the pool to see various departments of the council, Health and safety, and other parties hired to give a full survey of the pool. I did this in the hope that it would speed up the process of us getting back to work.
Another week goes by, and i rang a number of times asking where we were, we were told that as soon as the reports were ready , that we would be told. i asked for a meeting the following Monday, as i was away in London that weekend , the meeting was later on that Monday evening. The meeting was held between myself , Denise and Active Northumberland.
At the meeting we were informed that Active Northumberland were not actually the tennant of the pool , but that my company was still the tennant. They also informed me that as the works to be carried out would be of a substantial amount of money to reopen
the pool, they were stepping back from the situation as they felt that they could not justify spending that amount of money, just to use the facility through the holidays.
I asked for a report on works that needed to be done, which i recieved the folowing day. Within the letter off Acitve Northumberland was a line to say that although the lease has expired it continues to run as is until either party seeks to end the arrangements. In otherwords, because the council havent ended the lease with me, and i havent ended the lease with the council, actually, my company, Future bright uk is still the tennant. And therfore all costs are with me.
To me and this is my opinion only, i was under the imprerssion that they were in charge and i was only a third party with no real rights. as it turns out , i was the tennant.
Following another meeting this past Monday, i asked about this issue, and was told that it didnt really matter, as the council would have closed us anyway. At this meeting i was informed in more detail of what was wrong with the pool. This included the chemical dosing system, the hot water system, the poolside flooring, the state of the boiler, the state of the floats, the fact that there was no cover over the skimmers, this was one of the main issues, as it could be a drowning issue. This is all well and good i said, but informed them that it was all checked last year and was perfectly good for them to use then and earlier this year, after being checked by health and safety .I also gave them my opinon on how i felt it was very convenient that it was ok to use while they thought i was the tennant, However all this is erelevant as works to be carried out will be in the region of over £30,000.
We left the meeting in shock to be honest, feeling very let down and in my opinion cheated out of our jobs. 
In the time we have been closed , we have lost our earnings, one of our teachers, i have had to lay off the other teachers so that they could claim benifits while we were off work. Because of this it has created a family rift between my sister and myself,as leanne is my niece. Leanne however knows that this is not my fault, and we are ok.
Im really sorry to everyone concerned, i have tried my best to fix the problem, however if we are responsible for having the pool fixed, we are simply not in a position to have the work carried out. I am still trying to arrange a meeting between myself and asset managment to try and resolve the situation, but i feel that they would not invest in pool as it is my lease that i am responsible for all repairs.
I can say without any shadow of a doubt, i would never want to go into any partnership with Active Northumberland as long as i breath air.
The only way we can get through this complete and utter mess is if we can hopefully come to an arrangement with the council. 
Other than that it will be very unfortunate but nessesery to desolve the company. 
Then once again , Bedlington looses another facility, we all loose our jobs etc.
Im so sorry to have to say this, i can only say that i have worked my bones off to make this pool work.
As some of you know , we were given a year to pay off £10,500 in a year or the council would not renew my lease. We paid this off in under the year, however because we had to pay this money back in the time frame given. so that we could renew, other things went to pot, and i would be the first to say that the building did require works done. We couldnt reinvest as we had to pay the council back in the year.
As i said , my next step is to see the dept who has the pool to see if we can come to some arrangement. Though i feel that this is the last chance saloon.
I await to hear from the council regarding this meeting.

I will keep you posted when i hear anything at all, thought after posting this, the council will probably not want to see me at all. 
But i feel i owe it to all our clients to let you know the situation.

My contact number is 07793 110768 should you want to call me and shout at me. But please belive me when i say that this is completley out of my hands, also the the staff, my thoughts are with Leanne , Chris , Denise and Steph, also Kerry who had to put her notice in as she has to support her family. As we all do!!!

Regards

Paul xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Ps

sorry for my spelling and punctuation, i have written this post from my heart, probably not my head.
And if you feel the need to share, please do.

 

 

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Mine are not publishable..............

 

After agreeing to subsidise the swimming for our kids during the holidays, promoting it and after getting a great response this!!!!!!

 

Sometimes even I wonder if fate is against us!  

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Fixing this swimming pool would be 'small change' to Arch.

I like the idea of a new leisure centre instead of houses on the site next to Hazlemere.

Then these people could be employed in the new centre.

In the mean time 'Arch please please fix the pool'

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BUT>....................should Arch or even the County fix up  what is essentially a private business???  Bet there would be plenty of opinions flying around if they did that as a matter of course.   

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It's was a private business but the building was leased from the council... So should the landlord fix the building or the tenant?

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