Fears grow for open air pool

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save a Suffolk town's swimming pool are stepping up calls for a council to continue running the facility - arguing it could spell the “end of swimming and sport” there if it doesn't.

Mark Lord

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save a Suffolk town's swimming pool are stepping up calls for a council to continue running the facility - arguing it could spell the “end of swimming and sport” there if it doesn't.

Waveney District Council currently runs and funds the open air swimming pool in Halesworth and the town's Rifle Hall.

But as revealed in last week's EADT, a review of leisure services by the authority could put the facilities at risk, with the council arguing they do not provide value for money.


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The review, which goes before Waveney's cabinet on Thursday evening, proposes that the running of the pool be handed back to its owners Halesworth Playing Field Association (PFA).

Chairman of the PFA Tony Goldson told the EADT that such a move would be “disastrous” as the association does not have the funds to run it and the pool would close.

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Yesterday, veteran Halesworth swimmer and former teacher, Neil Howell, 75, said: “This is very sad news for swimming and sport in general in Halesworth. There have been problems of with the pool for years but it now looks like it is the end for Halesworth.

“For the past three years there have been problems with maintaining the pool's temperature. I am a seasoned swimmer and still compete regularly, but I would not go into a pool less than 70 degrees and sometimes over the last summer the pool temperature was in the 60s. This has meant that the pool has been losing people as soon as they saw how cold it was.”

He added: “With the successes of the Olympic and Paralympic teams and the run up to London 2012 people's interest in sport, particularly swimming and cycling, could not be greater, but now people in Halesworth will not be able to get their first taste of sport without having to travel outside of the town.

“This is very sad and I am appalled that Halesworth pool's future is in such jeopardy. I cannot argue more strongly for councillors at Waveney to consider a different course of action.”

Mr Goldson added that he and PFA members have emailed Waveney's cabinet members strongly putting across the PFA's views about the proposals.

The Cabinet meeting takes place at Lowestoft Town Hall at 6.30pm.

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