Question of new pool up for debate

TAXPAYERS have today been invited to have their say on the cost of a new swimming pool in Hadleigh. Chaired by The Evening Star's political editor, Paul Geater, the public meeting poses the question "Do Babergh taxpayers want to pay more for a new Hadleigh pool?"Organised by Babergh District Council, residents will be able to see an exhibition about the proposed pool and ask written questions to a panel of councillors.

TAXPAYERS have today been invited to have their say on the cost of a new swimming pool in Hadleigh.

Chaired by The Evening Star's political editor, Paul Geater, the public meeting poses the question "Do Babergh taxpayers want to pay more for a new Hadleigh pool?"

Organised by Babergh District Council, residents will be able to see an exhibition about the proposed pool and ask written questions to a panel of councillors.

Those questions will be put to the panel by The Star's Mr Geater.

Babergh's chairman of the strategy committee Cllr Nick Ridley said: "The key question facing both residents and councillors over and new pool in Hadleigh is one of affordability.

"Babergh District Council has stated an aim of keeping any Council tax increases to no more than the rate of inflation.

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"Equally we know that the government could 'cap' the budgets of any council which, in its opinion, increases its council tax by too high an amount.

"There are no easy options but we do want to hear the considered thoughts of residents and answer any questions they may have."

Conservative, Liberal democrat, Labour and Independent representatives have also been asked to sit on the panel.

A spokesman for the council said: "Residents attending the exhibition and meeting will also be asked to submit their views via a short questionnaire as to whether they would be willing to pay extra on their council tax bills, estimated to be £5.20 a year on a band D property, for the new pool and whether other Babergh priorities, such as building affordable homes, should be reduced to pay for the pool."

The results of the questionnaire will be debated in October by the council.

The public meeting will take place at 7.30pm on August 31 in Hadleigh town Hall.

Do you want to pay for a new pool? What do you think about the proposals? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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