Appreciate

With the debate ongoing on the future of the Portishead Open Air Pool, town residents reading the article in the Portishead Times (page 1, January 17) can appreciate how much a North Somerset's public amenity COSTS to run. The pool has been shown to hav

With the debate ongoing on the future of the Portishead Open Air Pool, town residents reading the article in the Portishead Times (page 1, January 17) can appreciate how much a North Somerset's public amenity COSTS to run. The pool has been shown to have a yearly income considerably less than the running cost.This year the council tax has been set to rise by four per cent, but some councillors believe that percentage is too high. So I ask the question - would North Somerset consider closing additional amenities if a less than four per cent tax rise proved to be a financial embarrassment in 2007-2008? I think so! While some councillors are free to live on hot air if it suits them, I consider the present figure of four per cent was carefully chosen with considered advice from North Somerset's finance department and was not simply plucked out of thin air. We don't need a deficit budget so that other enjoyed amenities come under threat in addition to our pool.I ask an alternative question - with the pool coming under close financial scrutiny and residents pleading for it to be kept open, how many would willingly face a higher tax rises to fund that plea? Fingers on one hand, perhaps?As a resident for the past 30-plus years I have always maintained that the open air pool is a desirable, though aging, amenity built in a totally wrong location. When driving north along Nore Road it is visible as a painted scar in a natural sweep of coastline. The original planners of the pool gave heed to neither aesthetics nor architecture, so our town has seen its inheritance become a costly eyesore which North Somerset finds a financial burden and which the residents are unwilling to close. What to do? Are higher ticket prices and more subdued paintwork two viable options?Leighton Greenham - Via e-mail


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