Ruling group denies pool sell off

THE ruling group on Ipswich Borough Council has denied it plans to permanently close and sell a popular open-air pool which has been the subject of a massive outpouring of public support.

THE ruling group on Ipswich Borough Council has denied it plans to permanently close and sell a popular open-air pool which has been the subject of a massive outpouring of public support.

Ipswich Borough Council met last night to discuss the future of the town's Broomhill Pool, which has been closed all year.

Members heard it will cost almost £3million to reopen the much-loved Olympic-sized facility for the next ten years, with £405,000 needed to demolish it.

Conservative councillor Dale Jackson accused the ruling Labour administration of planning to close the pool for good.


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He said: "We are in this position because of a lack of maintenance and repair over many years. "This administration has closed the pool hoping the people will get in the mindset that it will never open again.

"I believe they want to sell the pool and plough the money back into Crown Pools."

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Cllr Jackson was backed by fellow Conservative Cllr Elizabeth Harsant, who added: "Broomhill Pool is a valuable cultural resource and a part of the fabric of this town. It is a vital part of the community, which the Labour group has allowed to deteriorate. Councillors should look very carefully at all the options to find a solution to this without closing the pool.

"We must save Broomhill for the people of Ipswich – not just for today, but for tomorrow as well."

But Labour councillor John Mowles, who prepared the report on the town's pools for the meeting, denied the ruling party want to shut down the unique facility.

He called for the council to work together to find outside funding for the pool, which he explained could come from sources like the National Lottery.

Cllr Mowles added: "We have a chance now to go forward, but we will not succeed unless we work together.

"This is something different and quite exciting but it will not be successful without outside financial help and we would be much more likely to get that if we put aside party politicking and unite as a council on the issue."

A public consultation on whether the pool should be saved saw almost unanimous support for re-opening the facility, while the Friends of Broomhill Pool, a group formed to fight against its closure, have collected a 15,500 signature petition calling for it to be saved.

The council's executive is set to cast the final vote on the future of the pool at a meeting later in the year.

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