January 16, 2008
Hopes of a last-minute
reprieve for Burnham-On-Sea pool are dashed
of a last minute reprieve for Burnham-On-Sea swimming pool appear
to have been dealt a blow with a decision by district councillors
on Wednesday afternoon (January 16th) that the facility will shut
on May 31st unless a new owner can be found.
a packed meeting of the full district council inside Burnham's
Princess Hall (pictured), members voted in favour of shutting
the Berrow Road facility by May 31st despite pleas from campaigners
for its life to be expanded.
councillors were in favour of keeping the pool open until a new
owner could be found and removing the May 31st deadline, but 31
petition of more than 7,000 signatures was handed to the council
by Pat Pusill of Burnham Swimming Club (pictured).
Tom Ashton, Chairman of the Save Our Swimming Pool (SOS) campaign
group, spoke passionately about why the site should be saved.
One resident, Sidonie Ball, also made a strong speech in favour
of the pool remaining open.
council claims the pool's annual £250,000 running costs
and £2m of repairs make the site too expensive to run, particularly
in light of its £1.8m funding shortfall.
huge campaign to fight the closure has seen thousands signing
a petition, hundreds attending a packed public meeting before
Christmas, and dozens of swimmers holding a protest outside the
to Burnham-On-Sea.com after Tuesday's meeting, Burnham's Deputy
Mayor Cllr Neville Jones said he thought the meeting had gone
was heartened by the enthusiasm show by the body of people in
the hall and the task group which is working towards finding a
solution to keep the pool open."
now have five months to find a new owner, so the extra time until
May 31st is very welcome."
also now have an undertaking from the council that they will continue
to fund the current subsidy of £1 per child per swim after
May 31st - even if a new owner is found."
I don't see today's meeting in a negative light - it's the dawn
of a new era for Burnham swimming pool and I feel that in a relatively
short time the matter will be resolved."
Ashton said: "I have mixed feelings about how the event went.
We now have a definite date to aim for, although I would have
preferred an open date until neogtiations are concluded. It was
great to get so much support from people in the town."
one point during the meeting there were loud boos and shouts of
"why" from the audience when a photographer from Burnham-On-Sea.com
was asked to stop filming Mr Ashton making his speech - demonstrating
the support for Burnham-On-Sea.com from campaigners battling to
save the pool.
Pusill addressed the council members and handed over a petition
with over 7,000 signatures
members and interested Burnham residents packed into the hall
- while a large number also waited outside
crews inside Burnham's Princess Hall interviewed councillors about
scheme was considered for pool site in 2006
vicar collects 300 signatures in support of pool
swimmers hold protest outside Burnham pool
campaigners demand answers on running costs
turnout at packed swimming pool public meeting
group meets MP to discuss future of pool
meeting set to be held on future of pool
sign petition to save Burnham swimming pool
fight closure of Burnham swimming pool' vow campaigners
swimming pool 'may permanently close by April 2008'