No money for new pool

THOUSANDS of swimmers could be left without a pool after council chiefs refused to recommend that they fund a replacement. The public pool in Hadleigh is nearing the end of its expected life-span and the latest estimate for a replacement is more than £3million.

THOUSANDS of swimmers could be left without a pool after council chiefs refused to recommend that they fund a replacement.

The public pool in Hadleigh is nearing the end of its expected life-span and the latest estimate for a replacement is more than £3million.

And yesterday Babergh District Council's strategy committee decided they were unable, given the absence of Government or other external funding, to recommend that the authority fund a new one.

Nick Ridley, Babergh's strategy committee chairman, said: "Nothing is ruled in and nothing ruled out from the consideration of this most difficult of decisions. However, the strategy committee has done its job by being honest about the issues facing the council as to the funding of any such facility.

"Councillors were aware of their wider responsibilities, both to delivering the council's stated priorities as well as the need to represent the interests of residents across the district.

"The committee also felt that consideration needed to be given to its stated aim, based on the views of residents, to strive to keep any future council tax increases to no more than the rate of inflation."

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The five lane 25-metre long pool opened in 1971. It cost £65,000 of which £20,000 was raised in the Hadleigh area with the balance coming from central and local government grants.

The pool is used for more than 85,000 swims each year and the council says this demand could not be met elsewhere because all other local swimming pools are operating at full capacity.

Residents will be asked for their views at a special public meeting at the end of August. The pool's future will also be discussed at the Hadleigh State of the District Forum in September.

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