THERE was standing room only when townsfolk turned out in force to try and save the lido.

Around 200 people packed in to last Wednesday's meeting of Wychavon District Council's overview and scrutiny committee.

Many people could not find seats and had to stand at the back of the community hall on Heritage Way.

The leader of the council, Councillor Martin Jennings (Con-Bengeworth) was booed and jeered by the angry crowd as he spoke in favour of demolishing the historic pool.

"Lidos have had their day. While a small number of people use them in season, most people do not want to swim in the cold and rain," he said.

David Sparks, a town resident and chief executive of the Amateur Swimming Association, offered his services to help save the lido.

"The Amateur Swimming Association is engaged in a number of projects to save lidos around the country, so the suggestion that lidos are going out of fashion is wrong."

He added that he was willing to let the council use the facilities and technical expertise of the association to help access funding.

Councillors had to decide whether to back the officers' recommendation to bulldoze the lido or whether to support SALT and let them give a presentation to the rest of the authority.

But to the dismay of lido supporters, the councillors decided to back the recommendation to demolish the site by five votes to three, with one abstention.

SALT chairman Linda Watkins said: "I was overwhelmed by the response from the public. It was brilliant to see such wonderful emotion."

She added: "Though the decision didn't go our way we are still hanging in there. We are hoping to negotiate further with the council."