Campaigners' hope in swimming pool fight

CAMPAIGNERS hoping to save the threatened Beccles open air pool received a glimmer of hope after a meeting with Waveney District Council.

Mark Lord

CAMPAIGNERS hoping to save the threatened Beccles open air pool received a glimmer of hope after a meeting with Waveney District Council.

The cash-strapped council announced recently that it would not manage the pool from April 2009 but it has now agreed with the Friends of Beccles Open Air Swimming Pool to set up a project team to explore ways in which the popular outdoor facility can continue to run both next year and in the future.

Maureen Saunders, chairman of the Friends, said the group was more hopeful now that it could be saved - though funding was key.

She said: “Waveney does want the pool to stay open. So we made a presentation to various Waveney councillors and leisure managers and they have agreed to work with the Friends to determine the viability of the pool under the Friends, or a newly established management company.”

After the presentation councillor Barry Bee made a passionate closing speech, saying that Beccles was losing so many of the things that made it unique and which were part of its heritage. There was so little by way of leisure facilities in Beccles, and that the pool should be saved, he said.

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Last week, a sub committee of the Friends met with Vicky Collins and Stuart Everett from Waveney's leisure services, and district councillor Graham Elliott, to discuss the future of Beccles pool.

“It was agreed that those present plus councillor Chris Punt will form the project team, and an invitation would be sent to the mayor, David Smith, asking for a Beccles town councillor to join the team. The project team will meet again on Saturday, October 25, to begin the process of enabling,” said Mrs Saunders.

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