Market Rasen will not get a new swimming pool, despite residents’ demands for one to be built instead of proposed leisure facilities.
That was the message as members of the Market Rasen Action Group attended West Lindsey District Council’s full council meeting on Monday (November 12) to hand in a petition of more than 2,000 signatures opposing current plans to build a leisure centre without a pool.
Plans to build the centre off Gainsborough Road were announced in June.
However, campaigners argue the planned facility is ‘not wanted and will not be used’.
Recently-elected Rasen town councillor and group secretary June Clark said residents had not been consulted on the plans, and had been unaware of the plans to close the nearby De Aston Centre, prior to the announcement in July.
She said: “Residents were understandably very upset that there had been no consultation about the new facility, and the fact there was no mention of a swimming pool.
“Although we agree that dry facilities are needed, a swimming pool is seen as a higher priority.”
She added that residents felt they had been told ‘we either accepted what was on offer, or we would lose the money all together.’
She also criticised a recent publicity event for the plans saying: “The recent presentation of what Market Rasen is getting showed no provision for a swimming pool, just a vague ‘well, we could fit one in this space, if necessary.”
WLDC leader Coun Jeff Summers reiterated a series of previous comments, including that consultation had taken place, that the pool is unsustainable and would require a ‘significant subsidy.’
He said the proposed facility will provide a wide range of activities for all ages and abilities.
Coun Summers added the recent presentation event had showed ‘significant support’ for the proposed development.
He added the new centre was based on the aims of the prosperous communities committee which looks to develop a ‘cost-neutral’ approach to the area’s leisure facilities.
He said: “The leisure facility is a significant investment built on a solid evidence base.”
Coun Summers then ‘moved’ that the council should take no further action.
Councillors Lesley Rollings and Terry Young spoke in favour of the residents.
However, other councillors reiterated the Coun Summers’ points.
Councillor Thomas Smith, challenged residents and said if they had a way of funding the pool, they should approach him and he would take the suggestions to the council leader.
Councillors voted for proposals to take no further action on residents’ concerns.
The council says the running costs of a swimming pool on its own would not be financially sustainable.
The proposed “dry leisure” facility is part of a £7.8 million leisure investment across the district, with £6.3 million going into the Market Rasen area.
Residents have also launched a campaign to get a swimming pool creating the Market Rasen Swimming Pool Facebook page.