Town's pools could get reprieve

TWO outdoor swimming pools were given a stay of execution last night after a plan to permanently close them was postponed.Waveney District Council's executive had been advised to ask for the closure of the pools in Beccles and Halesworth after reports revealed almost £400,000 would be needed to bring the pools up to a standard to satisfy insurers.

TWO outdoor swimming pools were given a stay of execution last night after a plan to permanently close them was postponed.

Waveney District Council's executive had been advised to ask for the closure of the pools in Beccles and Halesworth after reports revealed almost £400,000 would be needed to bring the pools up to a standard to satisfy insurers.

But council leader Mark Bee asked the executive last night to defer a decision until after public meetings had been held in both towns later this month.

He hoped there would be a way to successfully “patch up” both pools and allow them to open this year, before their long-term future was decided.


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But Mr Bee said the deferral was only a temporary measure and did not mean the pools will definitely open for the summer season.

He told councillors there would be public meetings later this month to give residents in both towns a chance to have their say and “fulfil the council's commitment to them”.

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In the meantime, council officers would be tasked with finding alternative ways to temporarily repair the pools, which need £380,000 spent on them to bring them up to modern standards and comply with the Disability Discrimination Act to the satisfaction of the insurers.

“In making the decision for deferral it does in no way ensure we can open the pools for this year, but it leaves the door open,” said Mr Bee. “But we must fulfil the requirements of our insurers.”

Public meetings to discuss the future of the pools will be held at the Rifle Hall, Halesworth, on March 22 at 7pm and in Beccles Public Hall on March 23 at 7pm.

Halesworth Town Council chairman Bill Pagan urged as many residents as possible to attend the meetings.

“It is important that district and county council representatives at the meeting are left in no doubt that people living in the Halesworth area desperately want to see improved sporting facilities,” he said.

“Statistics compiled by the district council acknowledge that Halesworth is poorly served when it comes to sport pitches and other facilities compared with towns of similar sizes elsewhere.”

Mr Pagan said the town had been left disappointed when a scheme to build a £550,000 artificial floodlit multi-sports pitch in the grounds of Halesworth Middle School had been withdrawn.

“We have suffered over the years when we have tried to improve the sporting facilities in the Halesworth area,” he added.

“This meeting is a chance for people to hear what schemes are in the pipeline and for council officials to learn what local residents want to see happen.

“It is vital that everyone works together to secure these much-needed improvements and I hope this will be reflected at the public meeting.”

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