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Consultations begin over threatened pool

threatened poolLAST Monday in Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet, a proposal was passed to begin consultations on the future of Narberth swimming pool.

A preliminary date for closure was given as April 1, 2014. Three full time staff and seven part time and casual workers are currently employed at the pool.

The proposal states that: “The availability of capacity at alternative leisure facilities in Tenby and Crymych would enable customers to continue to be supported, albeit at a different location.”.

Tenby pool is eleven miles away from Narberth and Crymych further still at fourteen. County Councillor David Simpson stated that ‘options would need to be explored and urged the local community to begin an action group’ A Local action group currently exists which is administered by local pool user John Sleigh.

Mr Sleigh felt that people in Narberth would be unlikely to use the facilities in Crymych and Tenby due to the distance and cost involved. He also pointed out that a new footpath has just been completed between one of the schools and the pool. A recent online petition recently had 474 supporters asking that Pembrokeshire County Council drop the proposal.

Between April 2012 and April 2013, the facility had 40,648 paid admissions and a further 10,862 free swimming sessions.

9,237 admissions came from local schools and they would be expected to face the cost of hired transport and face a fifty minute round trip to either facility, threatening the viability of swimming lessons.

The Local Development Plan for Narberth (October 2012) has outlined 140+ development plots at two sites within the town, increasing the demand for schooling and local facilities.

Links to the Action Group will be placed on the Herald website. A separate proposal was passed in the same meeting that on April 1, 2014 a new charging structure be introduced increasing the price of an adult swim at the local authorities schools from £2.40 to £3. It was generally felt that an increase of 60 pence was reasonable and would still be substantially less than the £3.80 charged by Carmarthenshire (2013-14) and only 10 pence more than the fee for Ceredigion (2013-14).

Discounts were to be made available through a new loyalty card scheme.

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Dayne Stone

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