Swimming pool to lose casual sessions

PUBLISHED: 13:15 26 July 2007 | UPDATED: 15:12 12 May 2010

EAST Herts District Council has confirmed that it will make cuts to Buntingford s Ward Freman swimming pool. The council s executive has rejected requests from a policy and scrutiny committee to keep the pool open for casual swimmers at weekends. Buntingf

EAST Herts District Council has confirmed that it will make cuts to Buntingford's Ward Freman swimming pool.

The council's executive has rejected requests from a policy and scrutiny committee to keep the pool open for casual swimmers at weekends.

Buntingford's district councillor Cllr Stanley Bull said: "It is the wrong time to decide to close the pool, over the summer holidays.

"People in Buntingford can't just jump on buses to go casual swimming.

"I think Royston has taken a bit of our swimming trade as the pool over there is newer."

From September 1, the casual sessions will no longer be available and the Ward Freman pool will also be closed on Bank holidays.

These sessions will only be held at two council owned pools, at Hartham and Grange Paddocks.

Council leader Tony Jackson said: "We're continuing to invest in leisure services across East Herts, not just in swimming pools.

"We need to be realistic and adjust the leisure programme to meet the demands of the public."

There will be extra time for the popular activities such as inflatable fun as well as extended time for swimming lessons and pool parties.

Poor attendance has been blamed for the closures with Stevenage Leisure predicting a £150,000 overspend on running costs across East Herts.

The executive heard that only 163 people used the Ward Freman pool at the weekend between March and May this year.

"Rather than funding a session used by only a small minority of people during the year, we're directing investment into the services that are widely used and offering the best value for money for all residents," said Cllr Jackson.

The only hope for the Ward Freman Swimming Pool is if Herts County Council agrees to plug the spending gap.

Cllr Bull added: "We are looking to the county council to come up with the extra money.

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