County to close Chard pool

We were told this morning that Somerset County Council has informed the Kingfisher Community Pool (KCP) group that it has rejected the business case that KCP put forward for taking on the running of Cresta swimming pool next to Holyrood School in Chard.

Regeneration plans for Chard launched recently by South Somerset District Council include a pool as part of leisure facilities. However in the meantime the town of Chard will be left without a swimming pool and a large academy school will now have to travel to give pupils swimming lessons.

Was the cost of travel now necessary for pupils to get swimming lessons factored into the decision? Or has the idea that pupils should have access to swimming lessons simply been abandoned by a County Council running out of cash.

The pool, which is owned by the SCC has outlived its planned lifespan by more than a decade and now needs more than £1m of investment to replace failing equipment and to bring it up to standard.

It is interesting to note that as upgrading the Cresta Pool could have been conceived as a capital project, SCC could have borrowed money to upgrade the pool without impacting directly on its current cash crisis.

It only remains to reflect on the fact, as you can read in this month’s Leveller, that the current financial mess that SCC is in was a self-inflicted financial disaster.

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