Bill Jones Retires
By Charles West
When Bill Jones, South Shropshire Director of Operations, first came to work in South Shropshire over twenty years ago, there were already plans to bid for a new Sports and Leisure Facility in Church Stretton. As he retires today he can look with real pleasure as work progresses to make this ambition a reality.
After a series of disappointments and set back Bill Jones chaired a meeting late in 2005 which called together the key players to look again at whether Church Stretton wanted a new Sports and Leisure Facility and whether it was feasible.
In January 2006 a Project Management Group was set up under the chairmanship of Dr Charles, West District Councillor for Church Stretton to examine these issues. After extensive consultation and with the support of all local political groups, all the local councils and many groups involved in sports and leisure it was not only decided that it was desirable but possible, and work has started. With the disappearance of the District Councils on 1st April Bill Jones will retire and Dr West will concentrate on his new role as Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Shrewsbury and Atcham.
Contractors are currently working on new premises for the Busy Bees Nursery, and hope to relocate them during the Easter holidays.
They can then start work in the re-routing of a sewer. This will involve digging a deep trench close to the entrance to the swimming pool and it is likely that public access to the swimming pool will be restricted for a period. The school will still be able to use the pool.
There were no further delays reported at yesterday's meeting of the Project Management Group and there are still plans for a full opening in February 2010.
Future local involvement
The Project Management Group has now more than delivered its brief and made no arrangements to meet again. County Council Officers will be asked to set up arrangements for continuing local involvement through an interim advisory group. It is expected that once opened the whole facility will be management by a charitable trust with input from local users in the form of an advisory or user group.
Picture: Dr Charles West thanks Bill Jones for his continuing support for this project and his kindness and courtesy over many years service to South Shropshire.