Labour urge George Ferguson to think again over Speedwell Swimming Pool
LABOUR councillors are challenging Bristol mayor George Ferguson's plans to pull the plug on the new Speedwell Swimming Pool.
The group is urging the decision to be deferred as, they say, canceling the pool risks throwing down the drain £560,000 already spent on plans and preparations.
Councillors also believe that projected running costs – seen as prohibitive – were estimated as far too high and have asked officers to re-examine their figures. They say costs were comparable with Henbury Leisure Centre but far higher than Horfield Leisure Centre.
The planned pool would lose out in cuts made by George Ferguson's proposed budget.
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Ron Stone (St George West) said: "The new Bristol East Pool built at Brunel Academy would add to the gym already there. It would be the only leisure centre for miles and we believe demand has been underestimated.
"We need this pool – the old one closed down prematurely in 2005. There are new pools in the north and south of the city - our families and children deserve equal opportunity with rest of the city.
"We already have successful pools run in partnership with the city council. I'm confident we can get a workable deal for the new pool and leisure centre. The Mayor says he's always open to new ideas, but I'm beginning to wonder if that only applies to prestige projects in the city centre.
"We're asking for a short deferral to re-examine the projected figures and find the will to deliver on this much needed leisure centre."
The fate of the swimming pool lies in the council budget which will be finally decided at a meeting of the full council on February 26, at 2pm.