Tuesday, 17 October 2006

No pool closures in foreseeable future

A leading Coalition Councillor today insisted that there are no plans to close any of East Cleveland's three swimming pools at Loftus, Saltburn and Guisborough.

Fears that the pools could be under threat have surfaced amid negotiations by the Council to choose one of three companies who tendered for the contract to manage the Borough's leisure centres.

Concerned users and user groups have wrongly linked the suggestion in one of the tendering documents that an Olympic 'super pool' could be built in East Cleveland to imminent closure of existing swimming facilities.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick said: "I can categorically state that this Council has no intention of closing any pools for the foreseeable future.

"We will still continue to subsidise the leisure facillities by around £1 million a year and are looking to increase this investment in the future."

He explained: "I can also confirm that there has been a suggestion from one of the organisations tendering for the contract to manage our leisure facilities that they should build an Olympic 'super pool' in East Cleveland and lose the swimming element at the sports centres in Loftus, Saltburn and Guisborough.

"As this is an official tendering document, we are legally bound to consider all its contents and that is why we are also keen to take on board the views of users and user groups. I'm more than happy to talk to all interested parties."

Councillor Fitzpatrick added: "People are jumping to conclusions, but nothing has been decided. What we need to be doing is finding and analysing as many opinions as possible from all areas of Redcar and Cleveland.

"And we need to broaden people's minds - this isn't about the future of swimming in the Borough, it's about all our leisure provision and there is absolutely no suggestion that that will be reduced."

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