Pool closure would be ‘against tide of opinion’

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More than 1,000 people have signed petitions against the closure of Hull’s only competition standard pool.

Opposition councillors are collecting signatures in the hope they can stop the closure of Ennerdale swimming pool.

The proposals to close the swimming pool and Springhead golf course have split the Labour Cabinet, which needs to save £1m from leisure services.

Lib Dem Deputy Group Leader Coun Mike Ross said: “The fact that 1,000 people have signed a petition in a matter of days shows how strongly people don’t want the swimming pools to close.

“Many more signatures are coming in every day.

“Labour councillors really need to take notice to the many different groups and residents who have spoken out against these plans.”

But asked what the Lib Dems would do if they were in power, Coun Ross was not prepared to say.

Labour Cabinet member Phil Webster said: “They keep getting petitions up but they haven’t come forward with proposals of their own.

“We still haven’t got our settlement off the Government and it could get even worse the years after.

“The Local Government Association says there is a real fear now that councils will only be able to deliver statutory services in years to come. “The day may come when there are no leisure services.”

The council runs three swimming pools, two leisure centres, two golf courses, Hull Arena and Costello Stadium attracting 1.1 million visitors a year – but costing £3.4m to run, an average subsidy per visit of £3.12.

The sites need between £2.1m and £4.5m spending to bring them up to standard. Petitions are also being raised to save 80-year-old Springhead golf course, to the west of the city.

Coun Webster said it had one of the highest subsidies in the city, but only 60 per cent of users come from Hull.

But a Springhead golfer said: “It is just inverted snobbery. I don’t accept the council’s figures. If it was managed properly and invested in, it would be profitable.”