Council 'not listening to will of people' over proposed Swaffham pool
Despite a positive public response to a new Swaffham swimming pool, the pool’s committee believe it is ‘impossible’ to build the pool without the support of Breckland council who are ‘ignoring the will of the people.’
Over 1,000 people responded to the committee’s survey in six weeks with 97% saying they would swim more if a local pool was available.
But the committee believe Breckland council has been reluctant to enter into any discussions about the pool.
The pool’s campaign group has made plans to include a gym, soft play area and cafe due to the pool not being cost effective if run in isolation.
Helen Manson, of the pool campaign group, said: “The Swaffham councillors that represent us at Breckland are not listening to the people of Swaffham.
“The rest of the Swaffham Town Council including the mayor and his deputy have been very supportive but we are powerless against Breckland.”
Mrs Manson added children in the area are taking half a day out of school to travel to Dereham for swimming lessons which is expensive and wastes learning time. She believes Breckland is mainly focusing on its investment at Dereham and Thetford.
She continued: “One has to wonder that with all Breckland’s business investments, why Swaffham is left with no facilities despite huge housing developments.
“The fact the council tax is the lowest in the area seems poor compensation for the lack of facilities and the extra money spent on private pools and travel.
“The town has wanted a pool for a very long time. Doctors, schools and businesses are all in favour. Swimming is the only cradle to grave exercise and without one we are denied a valuable facility for all.”
A Breckland Council spokesperson said: “The council has funded leisure services feasibility studies for Attleborough and Swaffham, and these will shortly get underway. They are expected to predominantly focus on the potential for dry leisure services, such as improved gym facilities.
“However, as part of the studies, we will be asking local people about other services they would like to see developed.
"The results of the studies will help to inform our leisure plans going forward, while taking into account levels of demand, affordability and how any new facilities complement existing leisure amenities.”