City councillors to decide on future of swimming pools

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A controversial move which would see four swimming pools close across the Bradford district as new facilities are built is to be scrutinised by councillors.

Last month Bradford Council’s executive gave permission for a business case to be completed into the programme which would provide a new city centre sports facility and three new community swimming pools but which would also involve disposing of the existing Richard Dunn Sports Centre, Bowling, Bingley and Queensbury pools.

Councillors also agreed the source of costs for the business case and that a subsequent report should be brought back to the committee.

But now the decision could be referred to a meeting of the full council after it was called in for consideration by Councillor Andrew Mallinson, chair of Bradford Council’s regeneration and economy overview and scrutiny committee.

Members of the committee have three options when they meet to discuss the decision on Thursday.

They can decide that the original decision stands, they can refer all or some of it back to the executive for reconsideration in light of its comments, or they can refer it to full council for consideration.

Councillor Mallinson said: “I would like it to go back to the executive with the additional recommendations that the scrutiny committee will hopefully be putting forward to address local residents’ concerns.”

The councillor is urging those concerned about the decision to attend this week’s meeting.

Councillor Andrew Thornton, Bradford Council’s executive member for environment, sport and sustainability, said: “The strategic investment plan for swimming pools was recently considered at the council executive meeting and it was agreed to develop a business plan for the options.

“The business plan development will involve wide-ranging consultation in line with the council’s strategic proposal to provide high quality, accessible facilities for the whole community of Bradford district.

“This is a major decision on significant investment in new sports facilities. It is progressing through the council’s procedures and we will consider any comments that the overview and scrutiny committee want to make.”