Pool cafe set for axe
CROWN Pools café in Ipswich is set to close later this year.Ipswich council is to axe the catering at its showpiece swimming pool after a decision by its executive committee, saving nearly £46,000 a year.
CROWN Pools café in Ipswich is set to close later this year.
Ipswich council is to axe the catering at its showpiece swimming pool after a decision by its executive committee, saving nearly £46,000 a year.
The option of building a new café beside the main entrance might be considered in two years' time – but that could cost a further £300,000.
Council leisure spokeswoman Judy Terry said £500,000 would have to be spent on maintenance at the pool building within the next few years – and the losses at the café could not be sustained.
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Children's parties at the pool will continue, with food being provided by Fonnereau's café based in the nearby Christchurch Mansion.
Mrs Terry said: "We heard from a lot of parents that they weren't too happy with the food at the café because they wanted a more healthy alternative.
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"That is what we will be offering through Fonnereau's and I think people will welcome that."
There will be more vending machines installed so people can get drinks or healthy option foods – but Mrs Terry said most visitors to the pool went to other cafés or pubs for a drink after swimming.
Opposition leisure spokesman John Mowles said his group felt the proposal had been rushed before the executive committee without proper consultation.
He said: "The only point of this is to save money, they have not thought about changing the café to introduce more healthy-eating options.
"My personal view is that they were determined to close the café and they have written the report to reflect that. It does seem very short-sighted."
One person is employed full-time in the café and there are a further six part-time staff.
The council would seek to find alternative work for them within the borough, although it might be necessary to make some redundancies.
n. See page 16 for Paul Geater's column.