Pool revamp could force up council tax

REFURBISHING Hadleigh swimming pool could push up council tax for all Babergh residents, it can be revealed today. Costs are spiralling to maintain the 30-year-old pool and the building is coming to the end of its natural life.

REFURBISHING Hadleigh swimming pool could push up council tax for all Babergh residents, it can be revealed today.

Costs are spiralling to maintain the 30-year-old pool and the building is coming to the end of its natural life.

The options are to refurbish the pool where it is, or move it next to the leisure centre at Hadleigh High School in Highlands Road.

But while residents are in favour of leaving the pool where it is, it will cost £2.5million to do and cost an extra £40,000 than if rebuilt at the school, forcing up council tax by 1.3 per cent.


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Babergh council want to build a new pool at Hadleigh High School which is causing a dilemma for head of community and leisure services, Tim Mutum.

Mr Mutum was heavily involved in eight-years of fundraising to pay for a third of the original pool in Stonehouse Road in the 70s. And after six years in his current job he is keen to reach a solution.

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He believes that refurbishing the old pool may be like throwing good money after bad.

He said: "It's like repairing an old car as eventually the costs can outweigh the benefits.

"We are calling for Hadleigh people to come and join us.

"We can influence the future together but if we keep looking backwards then there is no future.

"The problem is in bringing together the conflicting interests and coming up with a workable solution with limited resources.

"We are playing the role of the honest broker and our duty is to give people the options and work together on a solution."

Mr Mutum added: "This will have a real impact on everybody's pocket and is against our goal of maintaining council tax rises at the rate of inflation.

"We will have to have an additional set of managers, more marketing people and have to control two separate budgets and two sets of administration."

The idea is to bring everything together to create a state of the art centre at the high school where people can go for a swim and do other sports.

Money is also a problem - the council cannot afford the £3.25m cost of a new pool on its own and will have to rely on the private sector and public fundraising.

A public meeting will take place at the Guildhall at 7.30pm on Monday for residents to put their views which will then be put to a meeting of the council's strategy committee on Thursday .

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