Pool dreams torpedoed?

DREAMS of a new swimming pool for Hadleigh appear dashed today.Babergh council voted not to proceed with the construction of a new 25m by 6 lane pool in the town, unless additional funding becomes available at a later date.

DREAMS of a new swimming pool for Hadleigh appear dashed today.

Babergh council voted not to proceed with the construction of a new 25m by 6 lane pool in the town, unless additional funding becomes available at a later date.

The move follows the publication of a report which put the estimates costs of the project at between £5.5m and £7.2m, a dramatic increase from the original budget of £3.2m.

However Brian Riley, Conservative councillor for Hadleigh north, said he was unhappy with the decision.

He said: “The motion was passed 16 votes to 14 with three abstentions. The fourteen votes against the motion were Conservatives.

“We voted against the motion because, as put to the meeting, it was incomplete and too early a decision to be made.

Most Read

“The vote for the motion by the Liberal Democrats showed a complete disregard for the aspirations of the people of Hadleigh.

“As a Hadleigh councillor I am disappointed at the rush to deny Hadleigh and its surrounding towns and villages a swimming pool.”

Michael Miller, the Liberal Democrat councillor on the Hadleigh and district swimming pool trust committee, said the group had asked for an amendment to the motion which added the phrase 'unless additional funding becomes available at a later date' so the new pool could be saved if money came from another source.

He added: “The Liberal Democrats are committed to retaining swimming facilities in Hadleigh.

“Very reluctantly we agreed that with the costing going up we couldn't support building a new pool because of the impact it would have had on council tax.”

Hopes for some form of pool in the town are not completely dead-in-the water however; as Babergh has commissioned a £8,000 report to examine the structure of the current one.

It has also pumped £21,000 into a study exploring the possibility of creating a fitness suite, dance studio and meeting room in Hadleigh.

Does Hadleigh need a new swimming pool? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.