Broomhill pool 'not doomed yet'

BROOMHILL Pool could still be saved if the public really wanted it, leisure Chief John Mowles hinted last night. He told councillors that the open-air pool was a social amenity and "a great asset" to the town.

BROOMHILL Pool could still be saved if the public really wanted it, leisure Chief John Mowles hinted last night.

He told councillors that the open-air pool was a social amenity and "a great asset" to the town. He understood why people wished it to be kept and he denied that a final decision had been made.

Mr Mowles told Ipswich Borough Council's Executive that it would be "a difficult decision" to spend £2.9 million on bringing the pool up to date. But he added councils have to make "difficult decisions".

The Executive agreed to consult the public and official bodies on the future of all the town's swimming pools.


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Among those who will be consulted are the Friends of Broomhill Pool who have already handed over 7500 name petition to the council urging that it should be kept.

Channel swimmer Mike Read, president of the Friends of Broomhill Pool, said today that the £2.9 million quoted to restore the pool was inaccurate. He claimed the work could be done for £2 million, which could be raised much more easily.

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Options that will be put before the public include the £2.9 million for Broomhill and £2.5 million on a training/diving tank at Crown Pools.

A further £500,000 could be earmarked for improved changing facilities at Crown Pools plus £200,000 for a flume/river ride.

Mr Mowles admitted that Crown Pools was "looking tired".

Repairs and maintenance to Crown Pools and Fore Street pool would total £717,000. Fore Street may eventually be redeveloped as part of the regeneration of the Docklands area but this is not part of the current options.

Councillor Mowles said the consultation with the public would be meaningful and denied it was a pointless exercise.

Conservative councillor Dale Jackson said the people had already made it clear they wanted Broomhill to stay open.

He added: "Why have a diving tank when we have got Broomhill?"

The consultation period will run from March 31 to May 12, a final report will go before the Executive in July.

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