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Proposals to shut swimming pools moves a step closer
12:07pm Wednesday 23rd October 2013 in News
The future of four swimming pools sparked lively debate at a meeting of Bradford Council last night.
The Council’s controlling Labour group was accused of running before it could walk in relation to pushing ahead with the plans without a proper public consultation or a thorough business plan.
Councillor Andrew Mallinson (Con, Craven) said: “We are here to serve the public, to engage with them and debate with them before we make informed decisions.
“A business plan based on closure of four pools without consultation with the public first is either stupid, foolhardy and plain arrogant.”
But Coun Andrew Thornton, Bradford Council’s executive member for sport, said: “The current provision of pools in the district is insufficient and unsustainable for our future needs.”
He added that an extra 1,000sqm of water space would be provided in the district as a result of the new provision. He also promised to consult with Bingley pool campaigners.
Leader of the Council, Councillor David Green (Lab), promised that none of the pools would close, and no new pools would open, without a proper public consultation first.
Coun Green also insisted that none of the current pools would shut before new ones opened. There was a glimmer of hope for Bingley as the Council agreed, following the presentation of a petition containing 4,071 signatures in support of the pool, to consult with the campaign group trying to save the facility.
The petition will now go to the Council executive for consideration.
In delivering the petition, Bingley Pool campaigner Susan Paterson said closing the pool would be “ripping the heart out of Bingley and the surrounding villages”.
She pointed out that 17 schools used the swimming pool as well as Bingley Swimming Club, Bingley Lifeguarding Club and numerous elderly people.
Coun John Pennington (Con) said of the Bingley campaign: “A petition with more than 20 per cent of residents on it is not insignificant. You cannot put a value on community cohesion. Bingley’s pool is full.”
He added: “If we had been given a suggestion of where we might build new pools, it would have saved a great deal of confusion.”
A motion to release the decision for implementation was passed.
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