Burnham pool to shut?

SWIMMERS in Burnham could soon be left without a pool. Sedgemoor District Council is looking to plug a £1.8million funding gap for the 2008 budget and one of the money saving suggestions is to shut the pool.

SWIMMERS in Burnham could soon be left without a pool.

Sedgemoor District Council is looking to plug a £1.8million funding gap for the 2008 budget and one of the money saving suggestions is to shut the pool.

The facility currently receives £250,000 from the council to subsidise running costs, which means council tax covers the price of £3.36 for each swim.

A survey carried out last month estimated an additional £2million will be needed to maintain the pool, which was built in 1974, over the next three years.


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The closure could mean up to 50 job losses for workers at the pool.

Wells Constituency MP David Heathcoat-Amory said: "I regret any loss of local facilities such as a swimming pool but I hope alternative arrangements will be made.

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"The job losses are regrettable and I hope that those affected will be helped to find other work or retrained.

"I will be raising this in the House of Commons to get fairer treatment for Somerset local government."

A spokesman for the district council said: "Next year the pool would be in its 34th year of operation, The accepted life-span for this type of pool is usually 25 years as defined by the industry.

"There are two publicly-funded pools within 12 miles of Burnham, Kings of Wessex Leisure Centre in Cheddar and Sedgemoor Splash in Bridgwater."

Sedgemoor District Council will be setting up a 'task and finish' group to report back by February 28 to seek alternative private sector parties to take over the responsibility and liability of running the pool. If none can be found, the closure will go ahead and the council will look at alternative provision for users such as swimming clubs which use the pool.

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