Pool in the swim

PUBLISHED: 11:39 16 November 2006 | UPDATED: 14:54 12 May 2010

THE future looks bright for Ward Freman Swimming Pool in Buntingford following a report which shows it has more use than any other pool in the district. An audit carried out by East Herts District Council shows there has been a 1.68 per cent (65 swimmers)

THE future looks bright for Ward Freman Swimming Pool in Buntingford following a report which shows it has more use than any other pool in the district.

An audit carried out by East Herts District Council shows there has been a 1.68 per cent (65 swimmers) increase in the number of casual swimmers.

Councillor Bob Parker, executive member for community development, said: "Ward Freman pool is serving a need for a small community and that might be the reason why the pool is looking better than other pools in the district."

There were concerns that the pool was under threat because the number of people participating in casual swimming in the district had been declining in the past year and the council decided there were too many pools in the district.

However, Cllr Parker said that there had been no discussions and there was no threat to the future of the pool.

He said: "These results are very positive for Ward Freman Pool and in the foreseeable future I do not see the closure of any pools in the district."

The management of Ward Freman pool was handed over to Aspire in July 2005 as a cost-effective move.

Cllr Parker said: "For the pool to increase its users, there must have been better marketing and pool staff and clubs doing an excellent job. And this is the sort of thing we need throughout the district."

A long term strategy plan is being carried out by the district council to look at the future of the pools.

Cllr Parker said: "Anything we do is going to have to be in consultation with the county council and I'm sure they wouldn't want to see swimming stop."

The council has had a huge subsidy on swimming pools in the district.

Cllr Parker said: "The council doesn't mind a certain level of subsidy as long as the pools are being used."

Headteacher of Freman College, Helen Loughran, said: "The pool is essential for all local schools. We always felt confident the district council would honour its commitment for provision for swimming, and I'm delighted it's been confirmed. It's an important part of our physical education curriculum."

A meeting of the performance scrutiny committee was held on Tuesday which confirmed the council was looking at a long-term leisure strategy.

- Grange Paddocks, Bishops Stortford: minus 726 swimmers

- Hartham, Hertford: minus 2468 swimmers

- Fanshawe, Ware: minus 599 swimmers

- Leventhorpe, Sawbridgeworth: minus 1062 swimmers

- Ward Freman: plus 65 swimmers

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