Partial pool closure plans are sunk

PLANS to close a third of a public swimming pool during quiet periods have been abandoned following complaints from customers.Swimmers turning up at the Deben Pool, Woodbridge, this week were surprised to discover that staff were trying to close off two lanes and leave them empty during an early morning session before work.

PLANS to close a third of a public swimming pool during quiet periods have been abandoned following complaints from customers.

Swimmers turning up at the Deben Pool, Woodbridge, this week were surprised to discover that staff were trying to close off two lanes and leave them empty during an early morning session before work.

Notes were handed out to the public and posters displayed at the swimming pool – but now the changes have been shelved.

The management of the pool has been handed over by the district council to DC Leisure. Simon Tappenden, contract manager, said updated health and safety regulations from the Sports Council stipulated that two lifeguards had to be on duty when the whole pool was being used.


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''We had analysed very closely our income and usage patterns and found some very quiet periods. The intention was to look at, not shutting the pool, but perhaps closing off two lanes and use one of the leisure assistants in another role.

''We dipped our toe in the water, got negative feedback and we listened to the customers and stopped doing that,'' said Mr Tappenden.

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He emphasised that DC Leisure was not going to rush through any changes and he stressed that the pool would not close in quiet sessions.

The changes were due to be introduced on June 7 but Mr Tappenden said they had already decided to abandon them before they had been put into place. However, there was a breakdown in communications and notices were displayed until the end of the day.

Richard Hare, of Quayside, Woodbridge, was swimming at the pool when the capacity was reduced on Monday morning.

Mr Hare said: ''Staff did their best to explain why they were moving us across the pool.

''There were just as many swimmers in the pool at five minutes after eight as there were five minutes before – it's just that they were just all squashed up. We were told that 0800 to 0830 has been declared a 'quiet period'.''

Suffolk Coastal is saving nearly £250,000 annually by handing over the day-to-day management of the facilities in Woodbridge, Felixstowe and Leiston to DC Leisure.

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