'No plan for second pool in Weston' despite 'promises' and 'need'
PUBLISHED: 07:56 28 June 2019
Despite years of 'promises', it has been revealed there is 'no plan' for a second swimming pool in Weston.
Mike Bell, North Somerset Council's deputy leader, confirmed at the authority's meeting at Weston Town Hall on Tuesday the outgoing Conservative administration left behind no 'detailed' proposal for another pool at Hutton Moor Leisure Centre - which was pledged by the Tories ahead of the 2015 election.
In March 2015, the Conservatives - which lost power in last month's elections - said an application for a second pool would be submitted within a 'couple of months' and hoped the facility would be open to the public a year later.
It was also mooted the new pool would feature slides and waves, but the aspirations have failed to materialise and it has become clear there are no plans for the project four years after it was announced.
The revelation came during question time after Ciaran Cronnelly, Labour councillor for Winterstoke ward, quizzed the authority's leaders on its plans for Hutton Moor.
Cllr Bell, responding on behalf of absent executive member for leisure Caritas Charles, said: "I totally welcome the question, it's an issue I have raised myself previously. Where is the second swimming pool that's been promised for Weston?
"Unfortunately, I have to say there is no plan at the moment for a second swimming pool in Weston, despite promises and speculation there might have been in the past.
"There is no detailed plan to bring forward a second pool for Weston, but there absolutely is a commitment from the administration to develop a coherent leisure and swimming strategy, so we can look at options and needs across the district because we have had a significant period of under-investment in some of our leisure facilities.
"New pools are expensive; £20-30million is the going price.
"We have got a significant need to invest in the pools we have got as well, so we do need to have a strategy long term.
"What I can say is we are looking at the need and the demographic growth we are forecasting in North Somerset and Weston in particular.
"There is absolutely a demand and a need for a second pool for Weston so we will be looking at bringing forward that strategy as soon as possible."