Future looks brighter for open air pools
THE last two publicly owned open-air swimming pools in Suffolk will be open this summer, the EADT can reveal.The future of the two pools, at Halesworth and Beccles, had been in doubt after both made substantial losses during 2005.
THE last two publicly owned open-air swimming pools in Suffolk will be open this summer, the EADT can reveal.
The future of the two pools, at Halesworth and Beccles, had been in doubt after both made substantial losses during 2005.
A special meeting of Halesworth Town Council was called to discuss the pool and chairman Alan Holzer was able to pass on the good news to other councillors.
“We have an assurance that the pool at Halesworth will be open for the 2006 season,” he said.
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The EADT has since been told that the open-air pools at both Halesworth and Beccles will be open from May to September this coming year.
Both swimming pools are operated by Waveney District Council. Because of insurance problems and a lack of facilities to comply with the Disabilities Act last year the pools did not open until June and at Halesworth only 3,300 entries were recorded.
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On a good year up to 11,000 visitors are expected and as a result of the poor attendance everyone using the pool in 2005 was subsidised by council tax payers at £11 at time.
Paul Whitlow said all public swimming pools operated at a loss but also provided an essential community service.
“There will always be cost to a community running a swimming pool and this pool is no different.
“We should make this cost as less as possible by encouraging more people to use the pool,” he said.
Town councillors at Halesworth are keen to work alongside officials at Waveney to promote the pool across the region.
“This is one of the last public lido's in the county and we should be able to attract visitors from a wide area to come and enjoy it,” said Bill Pagan.
In 2005 there were problems with both pools' heating equipment and it is hoped that this will not be repeated in 2006.
The long-term future of both pools remains uncertain and it is likely that public consultations will take place later this year to see what steps can be taken to keep them operating.
n Town councillors at Halesworth are to hold urgent talks with officials from Waveney District Council to discuss ways of improving the historic Rifle Hall as it is the town's only public community hall. The hall is in need of renovation and currently can only accommodate up to 80 people at a time because of problems with the floor.