Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Labour City Council "out of its depth" on community pool closures, say Tories

Lancaster City Council's Conservative Party Group have accused Labour of failing to keep their promises to engage with the community to find solutions to keep the swimming pools in Carnforth, Hornby and Heysham.

The concerns come as the Council meets tonight and discusses the issue of the community pools today and the Conservatives will be asking for action at the meeting.

Conservative spokesperson and Bare ward councillor Charlie Edwards told virtual-lancaster councillors were promised that they would receive an update in November and visibly there has been no action from the Council to keep these community assets in the community.

The Conservatives propose that if the schools are committed to taking on the pools but need more time to finalise arrangements, the Council should continue to operate the pools beyond April 2017 for a limited period in order to ensure they remain available for public use until transition takes place.

Councillor Andrew Gardiner, who represents Overton, said: "Despite all the boasts about spending £5 million at Salt Ayre, it would be much more effective also to keep community pools open. Heysham have a huge community asset in the pool at Heysham High and I want the Council to help facilitate a Community Asset Transfer."

Councillor Mel Guilding, representing Carnforth, said: "We have had to fight for any information about Carnforth pool: there has been little engagement with the community. Everyone in Carnforth should have access to the pools, it was the people of Carnforth who paid brick by brick for the pool to be built in the first place."

Leader of the Conservative Group, Peter Williamson said: "The Councils are dragging out the process and failing to consider the interests of those who use and work at the pools."

"It is clear to us the Labour Party is out of its depth."

Positive Progress on Lancaster's Local Plan

The Conservatives will also be lending their support to a decision on the council's Local Plan.

"As a Party, we are disappointed that it has taken so long," Charlie Edwards told virtual-lancaster, "as every day we don't have a plan that allocates where people can and cannot build, another developer can put in an application anywhere in the entire District.

"It's a huge piece of work and we have made significant inputs to make sure that all rural areas keep their independence, that the look and feel of the City does not change and that our growth matches the actual need for housing in the area. We want development that is good for the District as a whole, not what is good for developers. "

• Here is the Council report on the community pools: 

Agenda for 14th December 2016 Council Meeting

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