We'll make our minds up over new Worcester swimming pool quickly, says council

Worcester News: Councillor David Wilkinson, who sits in the new Tory cabinet at the city council Councillor David Wilkinson, who sits in the new Tory cabinet at the city council

THE man in charge of Worcester's new swimming pool dream says he aims to make a "quick" decision over it - suggesting the city will know where it stands within weeks.

Councillor David Wilkinson, part of the city council's Tory leadership, says he doesn't plan to keep the public waiting.

As your Worcester News revealed last week, the new Conservative administration has placed plans for a £6.5 million six-lane pool at Perdiswell under review.

The stance is aimed at seeing if the council can revive old proposals for a bigger, better £13 million competition-standard facility with eight lanes.

During the first cabinet meeting of the new-look administration he was challenged by Labour group leader Adrian Gregson to make his thoughts clear.

Cllr Wilkinson, who is cabinet member for safer and stronger communities which includes responsibility for leisure, said: "We've had a number of requests to look at this and we are doing so.

"I need to be satisfied that whatever we take forward, it's in the best interests of Worcester.

"We will have a short review, a quick one so I can look at all the possible options."

He said he doesn't plan to delay it for much longer given the previous plans were originally expected to be voted on by full council at the start of June.

Cllr Gregson challenged the Tory cabinet by saying "how it is anything different" to what his old Labour administration had already done.

Earlier this year, Labour announced it was shelving any hopes of the eight-lane pool after saying it would be unfair to lumber taxpayers with such a hefty bill.

That led to fierce criticism from Worcester Swimming Club, which says its members have to travel to Gloucester or Wolverhampton to compete.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, the leader, said: "This is a major decision for the council and we've been perfectly clear about what our view is, we want to look at it."

The six-lane option would involve refurbishing the existing Perdiswell Leisure Centre and adding an extra wing onto it, whereas an eight-lane option means demolishing it for a brand new build on adjacent land.

The council wants to then knock down the Sansome Walk pool and open its new facility by the end of 2015.

Comments (2)

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3:49pm Fri 20 Jun 14

newike says...

If a six lane can be added on to Perdiswell sports centre, why can't an eight lane pool be added on, thus saving money ? We are talking about a pool 5 metres wider not 20 metres wider. Yes each extra competitive lane is 2.5 metres wide. Does it cost an extra £ 6.5 million for 5 extra metres ? Total nonsense ! Please get facts straight and let us know, not hide all the figures and say we will have to pull down Perdiswell thus 16.5 million.
If a six lane can be added on to Perdiswell sports centre, why can't an eight lane pool be added on, thus saving money ? We are talking about a pool 5 metres wider not 20 metres wider. Yes each extra competitive lane is 2.5 metres wide. Does it cost an extra £ 6.5 million for 5 extra metres ? Total nonsense ! Please get facts straight and let us know, not hide all the figures and say we will have to pull down Perdiswell thus 16.5 million. newike
  • Score: 0

6:41pm Fri 20 Jun 14

Jabbadad says...

I think they are hiding the cost of pulling down a building which although appears to be a very soundly constructed, they have decided is no longer functional, or can't be upgraded. I agree with previous comments it's a waste of money to just build a fun / leisure pool when with foresight a real sports pool could be considered. It's not as if they have limited site for manouvering the two buildings and requirements together is it? Smple but artistic property links could be used.
But sadly our councilors and designers seemed to be stuck in the 1980's. Not looking forwards at least 40 years.
I think they are hiding the cost of pulling down a building which although appears to be a very soundly constructed, they have decided is no longer functional, or can't be upgraded. I agree with previous comments it's a waste of money to just build a fun / leisure pool when with foresight a real sports pool could be considered. It's not as if they have limited site for manouvering the two buildings and requirements together is it? Smple but artistic property links could be used. But sadly our councilors and designers seemed to be stuck in the 1980's. Not looking forwards at least 40 years. Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

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