names and addresses
IS NOW HERE
All phone numbers on this site are code unless shown otherwise.
OTHER CHIPPY WEB SITES
A "secret" road
Map of Chippy
Stay in Chippy
Things to see
BUS & RAIL
CLUBS & SOCIETIES
CATCH UP WITH
|BATTLE OF WITNEY
"ONCE YOU CLOSE OUR POOL
IT WILL BE CLOSED FOREVER!"
- Mayor Jo Graves addressing the WODC Cabinet on 7th Jan
7th January was a big day. The WODC cabinet had in front of them a report proposing "immediate closure of the pool". The setting was the West Oxfordshire District Council Chamber in Witney- a palatial room which is way over the top for a small District with an operating budget of 12m. Its the sort of room that might be nice to have if the Queen ever came to visit - but that apart who is it meant to impress Expensive wood, real leather, a raised dais for the Chairman, microphones - rows of spectator seats. The cleaning bill alone must be at least 13,500 a year - and its only used a couple of times a month. Potential cost savings stare you in the face. But today the Council were not thinking about cutting back on their own pompous accoutrements - they had their sights set on more down to earth matters. They were out to get the Chippy Open Air Pool. Appearing in this august setting before the stony-faced bean-counters pleading for a reprieve were Jo Graves - Town Mayor - and Jude Douglass (of KOPO). And they both played an absolute blinder. Cool, on top of the facts, brimming with ideas, both manifest professionals but astutely emphasising their family credentials and shamelessly schmoozing the gnarled old councillors. What stars! What a performance - nobody could have made the case better. They fielded challenging questions for half an hour and never once seemed on the defensive - even when the hard-nosed Councillor Mary Neale amazingly suggested that young Chippy people didn't really want a pool at all. The bullseye of the afternoon was undoubtedly scored by Mayor Jo. "We appreciate you are short of revenue this year but that will change. Short-term you could save the money we're talking about by closing Cogges Museum for a couple of days a month and then re-opening when finances are better. But once you close our pool it will be closed for ever!" At that point, the ghost of Charlie Withers (a much-loved independent-minded Chippy Town Councillor whose name had already been invoked in an earlier exchange) seemed to suffuse the chamber and symbolise the Chippy fighting spirit. Or perhaps it was because Mayor Jo looked and sounded a bit like Joan of Arc. Either way -I'm sure Chairman Barry Norton trembled slightly. Perhaps he sensed the Chippy hordes were on the march and might soon be battering at the gates.
Jo and Jude got us a reprieve. The Cabinet decided that they will keep the Open Air Pool open for another year to give the KOPO campaign group a proper chance to come up with a marketing plan to ensure the Pool's long-term future. But there are conditions. The most important condition is that by Feb 7th they want a commitment of 13,500 from the local community towards the running costs ....and they don't really mind where it comes from.
Assuming the Chippy Town Council are still prepared to pitch in with the 6000 they previously allocated to help the campaign and KOPO contribute their 1,000 "fighting fund"
that leaves 6,500 to be raised in four weeks.
Its a big challenge but we now need to get on with it. WODC are clearly not going to listen to any more protests. Its our money they're after. All personal contributions will be very very welcome. They will be publicly and individuallyacknowledged on this website. We'll keep a running total prominently displayed so we all know where we are. But we need the town's master organisers to conjure up some of their magic too. None of us have forgotten the incredible fund-raising success of John Lilley's 24 hour Darts Marathon, or Brian Galbraith's Christmas Bash or Mike Howes Jazz Day or the Rotary Art Sale or Ken Norman's bicycle ride down the Nile. Come on you guys. Your town needs you again! How can the young people of the town get involved Could Mark Roach of the Guild of Commerce and Mike Leggett of the Federation of Small Business circularise their 150 members with an appeal Would any company like to be a main sponsor Can the Parish Councils of the villages around Chippy - many of whose residents are enthusiastic users of the Pool - see their way to making a contribution (Come on Hooky we know you all use the pool too!) Will shops and pubs put collecting boxes in their premises All ideas are welcome but we need them fast. If the website can help any fundraising efforts- just let us know. For more background please take a look at previous articles
Ken Norman - Chairman of KOPO-kicked off the campaign with an interview on BBCTV and RADIO OXFORD. In a statement he says..The town's Open Air Swimming Pool it seems is saved for one more year and providing we can quickly raise funds will reopen in 2004. At last KOPO, in league with the Town Council, can get down to business - securing the pool's long term future. We've got just 50 weeks. It's a tall order but we'll rise to the challenge. Even as I write this e-mails of support are flying in and I've just heard that we've banked our first 1,000 donation to the cause. I'm swelling with pride - I just love this town and the can-do attitude of many people here about.
READ KEN'S FULL STATEMENT INCLUDING KOPO'S PLANS FOR NEXT STEPS
READ KOPO'S OUTSTANDING REPORT WHICH WON THE REPRIEVE
Please e-mail Ken with your ideas and offers of support by simply clicking on this link .