West Lindsey District Council’s former Liberal Democrat leader says his party would honour its promise to build a swimming pool in Market Rasen if it regains control of the authority.
Reg Shore, who is still a councillor for the Stow ward, has criticised the current Tory-led administration which plans to build a £6.3 million leisure centre in the town - without a much-wanted swimming pool.
Coun Shore said WLDC should ‘start looking after its own council taxpayers’ and he is backing a residents’ campaign to get a pool built.
Coun Shore said: “Ten years ago a pool for the town of Market Rasen was fully costed, agreed and was on its way to being delivered by WLDC led by a Lib Dem administration.
“Unfortunately, electors then voted the Tories in and their Leader stopped the project in its tracks saying that he could do better.
“His ‘better’ meant no project at all.
“Sadly some of the voters in Market Rasen were instrumental in helping the Tories to power by falling for their false promises and voting them in.
“Local Rasen residents have paid the price ever since receiving no pool, just hollow words.
“Listening to the recent Market Rasen Town Council meeting where the leader of West Lindsey tried to defend his actions, I was encouraged by the fact that locals have had enough of his administration’s ineffectiveness and robustly challenged his position, which was, in reality, quite indefensible.
“Good luck to the campaign for a pool for this fine town - I will support your efforts all the way!
“A returned Lib Dem administration would honour its commitment to a pool for this marginalised town.
“Perhaps this Tory council for stop investing millions of pounds outside the county and start looking after its own council taxpayers.”
Around 2,000 people have signed a petition calling for WLDC to put a swimming pool in the new centre planned for Gainsborough Road.
The town council is backing residents’ calls, but the district council insists a swimming pool is not currently viable.
WLDC leader Coun Jeff Summers said: “We, as a council, have been dealing with austerity and have had to save money.
“We have successfully managed the council in a way to generate income, and we have specialist staff to make that happen.
“We have a five-year financial strategy and we’ve still got £680,000 to find in three years’ time.
“If we spend and spend with no return we’ll be bankrupt, just like Northampton council is at the moment.
“At the moment we don’t have the population to supply sufficient revenue to run a swimming pool.”