Funding row over pool
HADLEIGH swimming pool's future is looking uncertain today after an argument about funding broke out between two authorities.As reported in yesterday's Evening Star the cost of the project was far higher than expected, rising from an initial estimate of £3.
HADLEIGH swimming pool's future is looking uncertain today after an argument about funding broke out between two authorities.
As reported in yesterday's Evening Star the cost of the project was far higher than expected, rising from an initial estimate of £3.25m to around £4.44m, and as a result Babergh District Council has said it hopes that Hadleigh Town Council will be able to step in to fund the extra cost.
However the town council has hit back saying it is unwilling to commit any funds it may receive from selling its land next to the Brett Works site to supermarket giant Tesco until a planning application has been submitted.
The council's clerk, Carol Bailey, said: “There was no discussion about them wanting extra money from this land, but it has been hinted at.
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“But we've always said we wanted to wait until we had a planning application, otherwise we would be committing money we don't know we have.
“It is a bit like being kidnapped and then being held at ransom to pay more money.
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“We are fully supportive of having new swimming pool but it is down to the costs.”
Mrs Bailey said that Hadleigh Town Council had already contributed £64,000 to the plans to transform Hadleigh's 25m, five lane pool, and expected to contribute £120,000 by the time a new facility is built.
A spokesman for Babergh District Council, said: “Babergh believe that securing a new pool for Hadleigh is one of the single most important challenges facing the community.
“We are going out-of-our way to maximise the amount of money we hope to invest in this facility - and sometimes having to make difficult decisions in the process.
“We hope that Hadleigh Town Council shares our sense of urgency over this and will reconsider its position not to enter into negotiations over their land next to Brett Works.
“What other project do they have in mind other than the new pool on which they wish to spend this money?”