I write this letter in a state of total confusion and manic frustration.
Every day you hear, quite rightly, the government and the Department of Health banging on about the unhealthy state of the nation and the financial implications on the overworked NHS struggling to cope.
I am at the sharp end of this unfolding tragedy as an orthopaedic sister at Pontefract Hospital. We work flat-out in one of the most deprived areas of the county, for us to succeed we need facilities. The majority of people cannot afford private gym memberships as they struggle to make ends meet on low and depleted incomes. The loss of the swimming pool in our area is a tragedy. It flies in the face of what the NHS and the government have been promoting to achieve – healthy lifestyles. Not to have a swimming pool in our area is storing up medical problems for generations to come in and the decision is a false economy.
What about our children? Who speaks up for them? They are entitled this provision as part of their early years development, the decision to close and not replace is failing our children and we should all be alarmed about this!
We have no leisure facilities in this area and someone needs to have a rethink about a decision that will be a tragedy for our community. Do not let the closure of our pool pass you by without making your concerns known to the authorities. We have just celebrated a successful Olympics and the legacy was to encourage all ages to take up exercise (unless of course you live in the south east of Wakefield).
We need affordable, accessible leisure facilities as much as we need employment, schools and hospitals they are all of equal importance. Healthy children become healthy educated adults, ready to take on the responsibility of the world of work and going on to raise the next generation of healthy children.
Let the government, Wakefield Council, your MP, your councillor know about your disgust in this decision to deprive our community of what most other areas seem to have an abundance of.