Swimming pool hours cut as council reduces funding

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PROPOSED cuts to swimming pool opening hours across the Wakefield district have been outlined by city council leaders.

Wakefield Council is looking to save £22m next year and reducing opening times at five pools will save around £100,000 a year.

From Friday the council will begin asking people what they think about two cost-cutting options.

Councillor David Dagger, cabinet member for culture, sport and libraries, said: “We have a tough challenge to make considerable savings for the year ahead. By making changes to opening hours of some of our swimming pools we can keep all our leisure centres open and still offer an excellent service.

“We are asking you choose one of the options. Your views matter to us and I encourage everyone to take part in this consultation.”

The two options for reducing opening hours to be consulted on are:

Option A – changing opening hours at weekends and evenings.

Normanton, Castleford, Featherstone, Minsthorpe and Pontefract swimming pools will open one hour earlier and close at 9.30 pm on weekdays. On a Sunday the pools will close early in the afternoon. Minsthorpe pool will reduce the availability of the learner pool on three days during the week.

Option B – closing one day during the week.

This option would see reduced opening hours at Normanton, Castleford, Featherstone and Pontefract swimming pools. Each pool would close for one day during the week, each on a different day. This will allow residents to use other nearby leisure centres when one pool is closed. Minsthorpe pool will reduce opening hours on a Sunday and reduce the availability of the learner pool on three days during the week.

Wakefield Council is asking residents which option they would prefer. ‘Give us Your Views’ forms can be obtained from any Council sports centre. The closing date for the consultation is March 18.

Or write to: Leisure Centre Consultation, Room 8 Town Hall, FREEPOST NEA5394, Wakefield WF1 2BR, by March 18, 2012. Or visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/poolconsultation

The new arrangements are expected to be introduced from April 2.

andrew.robinson1@ypn.co.uk