Provincial Grand Lodge Of Gloucestershire

Wotton Swimming Pool: Freemasons Dive In to Help

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Wotton Swimming Pool: Freemasons Dive In to Help

Freemasonry is always keen to support the local community and hearing that Wotton Swimming Pool had some time ago been in danger of going under Gloucestershire Round Table Lodge decided to put their charity steward, Lloyd Morgans, in at the deep end. Lloyd was instructed to step in (with a cheque for £1000). Our photograph shows Lloyd giving Jon Toy the donation which he told us was very gratefully received and will enable them to have more on offer for their local community.

The story of how the community stepped up to keep the pool going is an interesting one:

‘Wotton Swimming Pool is owned by Wotton Town Council (WTC), but until 2010 was run by Stroud District Council (SDC), with help from the volunteers of Wotton Swimming Pool Club. Unfortunately, SDC had to withdraw their financial and operational support at the end of the 2010 season. Rather than let the pool shut down, the Wotton Swimming Pool Club worked hard throughout the winter months to keep the pool open. October 2010 saw a successful ‘Vote Yes’ campaign hit the streets of Wotton.

This was a referendum to decide whether Wotton tax payers would agree to a rise in Council tax (approximately 25p a week for band D houses) to cover the estimated £28 000 needed to run the pool safely and efficiently. The people of Wotton voted yes (1082 for, 102 against), which meant that the Pool had a viable future. Following this success the Club formed a special type of company to run the pool and have saved this fantastic local facility. The company leases the pool from WTC and will be running it as a community enterprise in cooperation with the Council.

Wotton-under-edge Swimming Pool Ltd (WSPL) is a Company Limited by Guarantee and a registered charity. This means it is a non profit organisation, but has the legal status and organisational infrastructure to operate the facility. In 2011 the Club was dissolved, and its funds were transferred to the Company and earmarked for improvements. Most people who were members of the Club have now become members of WSPL.

The vast majority of the people who will be operating Wotton Pool this summer will be volunteers – members of the Company. There will be some paid staff members: lifeguards during the working day when volunteer lifeguards are unavailable, and Pool Managers who will be responsible for the day to day operation and maintenance of the pool.’

We thank Lloyd Morgans of Gloucestershire Round Table Lodge for sharing this news, or rather making a splash.

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Wotton Swimming Pool: Freemasons Dive In to Help