Deal struck to open town pools
By David LennardTWO open-air swimming pools will open for the summer season after councillors and insurers agreed a package of improvements.The pools in Halesworth and Beccles were threatened with closure when insurers Zurich Municipal demanded £400,000-worth of improvements to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.
By David Lennard
TWO open-air swimming pools will open for the summer season after councillors and insurers agreed a package of improvements.
The pools in Halesworth and Beccles were threatened with closure when insurers Zurich Municipal demanded £400,000-worth of improvements to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.
Waveney District Council has been holding urgent talks with the insurance company to see if a compromise agreement could be reached and its executive approved last night a package of works that will mean both pools can open next month.
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The works include providing additional changing and shower facilities and disabled hoist access for both pools.
Figures released by Waveney District Council showed £12,000 would have to be spent at each of the two pools to put the temporary measures in place and this money will be found from existing budgets.
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Further steps include making a Heritage Lottery Grant application for funds to provide longer-term improvements to the pool in Halesworth and continuing with plans for a new sports complex in Beccles.
Stephen Ardley, the council's portfolio holder for community and operations, said: “Members and officers have worked extremely hard to deliver this result and I am pleased that we are able to consider opening these much-needed facilities again this season.
“I hope that the general public show their support by making use of the pools on a regular basis.”
Mark Bee, council leader, added: “This is excellent news for the users of the swimming pools and I am delighted that we are able to take on their views in considering this issue further.”
Representatives from DIAL (Disability Information and Advice Line) have given their support for the future plans for both pools.