Council to work with community over future of Purley pool

 

The council is to delay the closure of Purley swimming pool and work with the community to keep it open while it can still be used.

This follows talks between local campaigners for the leisure centre pool and the council leader Councillor Tony Newman, who agreed a way forward.

As a result closing the pool will no longer be part of the next financial year’s budget proposals, which are due to go to the council’s cabinet next month.

Instead the pool will be kept open until it can no longer be used.

Councillor Newman said: “I’d like to place on record my personal thanks to Emily Benn and Fred Wallis who have worked so hard to bring everyone together so that the council can start to plan a way forward.

“I think that everyone understands that due to chronic under investment over recent years the pool could not continue forever in its current dilapidated state.

“It was quite right to review this as part of the budget proposals, as there simply isn’t the money available to make the pool viable in the long-term.

“The pool has almost reached the end of its life. However, we believe that we can find a way to keep it open until that time comes. This also gives us more time to work with the community on the future regeneration plans for Purley.”

Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “Since the closure date of the pool was first proposed, we have listened to residents’ concerns and are delighted that we have reached an agreement that allows us to keep the pool open while it can still be safely used and enjoyed by the community.

“We continue to explore ways to keep facilities open and to explore how we can re-provide much improved facilities in any new development. We do have to recognise that all council facilities and services are under threat from the funding cuts by the government to local government, leisure provision is no exception.

“We are pleased to be working with the community to get as much use out of the pool while we still can.”

Fred Wallis, speaking on behalf of the campaign to Save Purley Pool, said: “We would very much like to thank the council Leader Tony Newman and his colleagues for listening to our representation of the facts that indicate that Purley Pool should be kept open for the benefit of the community.

“The local representatives look forward to helping the council in whatever way possible to see that the pool and gym can be maintained at a satisfactory level without unnecessary expenditure.

“We would like to say that Purley pool is at the heart of the south of the borough and real long term benefits can be had by all if a swimming pool and gym is planned for in the regeneration of Purley.”

The council will now work with members of the community on a joint survey of the pool. It was agreed that the decision may need to be reviewed if, in the coming months, there is any major investment or health and safety concerns.

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