Meeting supports new pool on current site
A lively meeting, organised by the Hadleigh Town Forum, took place on 13th September 2004 to discuss the options for replacing Hadleigh's pool. Around 100 people listened to presentations from Babergh officers' Tim Mutum, Head of Leisure and Community Services and Mike Hammond,. Corporate Director.
were strong suspicions that Babergh District Councillors have already made
up their minds that any new pool should be sited at the Leisure
Centre. Some felt that the current site off George Street would be
sold off with East House by the Council for housing.
Others felt that the Leisure Centre was an unattractive option, with the pool simply being used by the school, with town residents having to wait in line until the schools finish their sessions. There was a suggestion that by allocating land at the High School this would prevent possible plans for a Sixth Form.
Some were concerned that most of the residents would have to travel further to the site, especially for the elderly without cars, and that there wouldn't be adequate parking.
Many of those present were frustrated that the pool is being left to deteriorate whilst money is being wasted on consultants' reports. Babergh councillors on the Strategy Committee have recommended setting aside £30000 in 2005/6 to reviewing the options for a new pool, including retaining the pool at the existing location.
Meanwhile, officers have been asked to consider potential funding partners and to report back to Full Council on 19th October.
Sue Carpendale, Chairman of the Committee, explained, “The message from this Committee is clear: we are very committed to a new pool for Hadleigh, but need to be realistic about sounding out how the money could be raised, before committing further funds aimed at detailing the best site”.
18th September 2004
Hadleigh Swimming Pool - the Debate
Special meeting (Hadleigh Forum) - 7.30pm, Sept 13th - Town Hall
What kind of town do Hadleigh residents want to live in? Do we want a giant supermarket by the riverside? Do we want a swimming pool? These are the two big issues that are currently being debated.
If they anti-Tesco brigade win then we will still be able to shop at the Co-op but if the pool closes then parents will be driving their kids at least 10 miles to learn to swim and our town will be less healthy in both senses of the word.
So what's going on?
In August 2004, Babergh revealed the its Best Value
Review of Cultural Services. The review considered how it could best
maintain and improve the provision of sports, cultural and community
facilities in the future "when set against the need to provide
Council Taxpayers with value for money".
a prudent council, Babergh must balance the needs of users against those
of the wider community” explained Tim Mutum, Babergh’s Head of Leisure
and Community Services.
The key issues is the future of Hadleigh Pool. Babergh has spent over £550,000 in maintainance and improvements on the 30 year old pool.
cannot afford on its own to raise the £3.25m needed to build a new pool.
Furthermore, the Best Value Review concludes that the Council would be
unable to justify the building of any new pool on a site separate from the
town’s other sporting facilities. The running costs on their own of
running two facilities on two separate sites would be £40,000 per year
higher than if the facilities were at just one location."
Review concludes that the best chance Hadleigh has in getting a new pool
is for it to be built alongside the existing leisure centre at Hadleigh
High School. Even then, the necessary funding is not guaranteed and
Babergh and its potential partners will have to work well together to make
a compelling case for resources” continued Tim Mutum.
report proposes that Babergh spends £20,000 on a detailed study into how
a pool could be financed and run as part of a larger leisure complex at
the Hadleigh High School site. However, the report contends that there may
be little point in committing this money if other key partners feel unable
to back this option.
is no viable economic case for building a new pool on the existing site.
The Best Value Review recommends that the only chance that the town has
for having a swimming facility in the longer term is if all potential
partners work towards building a case for a combined pool and sports
centre at the High School” concluded Tim Mutum. ”
However, Jan Byrne, former mayor, disagrees. She believes that the current site is a viable option. To support her case she states that there will be no need to build a new access road or a car park as these already exist. At the High School, it would be necessary to create a new entrance and playground for pupils.
has produced a leaflet outlining the main facts about the current pool and
addressing some of the questions local people may have. Babergh also plans
to mount exhibitions at its Corks Lane HQ and at the swimming pool itself.
There will also be leaflets available at Hadleigh Library.
Details of pool opening times: http://hadleigh.leisureconnection.co.uk/
The views of Hadleigh Swimming Club: