Unique

PUBLISHED: 17:52 31 January 2007 | UPDATED: 10:32 24 May 2010

I write reference to your article in Portishead Times on January 17 as I believe that the unique facility that is Portishead Open Air Pool should be retained. Closure of the pool is a one way street with no going back, the facility will be lost to the to

I write reference to your article in Portishead Times on January 17 as I believe that the unique facility that is Portishead Open Air Pool should be retained. Closure of the pool is a one way street with no going back, the facility will be lost to the town and future generations for ever.I take task with the article, I find the running costs reported hard to believe and urge The Times to investigate the council's claims in detail and make the full financial report public for scrutiny. The pool is out of commission six months of the year with very little, if any maintenance.Furthermore, I know that lifeguards in North Somerset are paid less than cleaners and therefore cannot understand where the running costs are incurred.Clearly heating charges will be significant but these can be reduced with investment in a thermal jacket to roll over the pool at night. This will have a dual benefit of reducing heating charges and deter midnight swimmers.I have lived in Posset since the early 70s, always enjoying the Lake Grounds and in recent years enjoyed playing tennis all year round at the tennis club. During the winter months I have often wondered why the pool facility is not put to use. I am concerned that our council yet again is quick to try and take the easy route out rather than manage the situation for the greater good of the community. It is clear that better management of the facility is required and consideration to additional revenue streams investigated. Fundamentally, the council should make better use of the space, thermal insulation for example could take the form of a hard surface upon which concerts, plays, etc., could be staged, the pool's amphitheatre-like structure and location make this a possibility. Also, why doesn't the cafe open all year round? It would be an ideal spot for teenagers to meet late evening rather than wander around the town aimlessly.These are two off the cuff ideas which may or may not have merit, what is clear though is that we need full and thorough investigation into the possibilities before the momentous decision to close the pool is made. Finally, with the town growing at the rate it is, the last thing Portishead needs is a reduction in facilities. North Somerset Council should be investing in Portishead. Peter Lench - Nichols Road, Portishead

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