Town's joy at decision on Garstang swimming pool - but now the public must use it

Garstang mayor Coun Liz Webster has urged the public to use or lose the town’s swimming pool after it won a reprieve.

Wednesday, 9th December 2020, 7:00 am
Garstang mayor Coun Elizabeth Webster

Speaking at this week’s Town Council Coun Liz Webster said: “It’s great news for Garstang.”

But before the town can fully rejoice it must await the outcome of a call in on Wyre Council’s decision to provide cash to enable the reopening of only some of the borough’s leisure facilities.

Coun Webster reported back on a recent meeting of Wyre Council’s cabinet when she had spoken in support of the Garstang facility.The cabinet approved an additional subsidy of £340,165 in 2020/2021 for Fylde Coast YMCA to enable the reopening of fitness gyms and classes at Thornton and Garstang leisure centres and the reopening of Garstang Pool.

The YMCA runs two facilities in Garstang - the town's leisure centre and the swimming pool

She reminded the town council that the intention is “to trial public appetite for return to swimming once Covid 19 restrictions are lifted.”

Coun Webster said the plans for Garstang had “been well received by the swimming club” but she acknowledged: “Fleetwood residents are not particularly happy about the decision.”

Noting that the YMCA planned to reopen the pool at the beginning of January she said: “People do need to support it, They wanted it to, it’s going to open. They have to use the pool because the numbers will be monitored.”

She had also submitted a written report to the town council which noted the detail of the funding decision.

But Coun Webster also noted that on December 1 the cabinet’s decision had been “called in” for review. It will now be reviewed by the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny committee on December 15.

Save Our Swimming Pool campaign leader Campaign leader Susanne White said: “The pool hopes to reopen on January 4 with schools having lessons again around January 11. This is the best Christmas present ever.”

Since summer Wyre has given additional subsidies to the YMCA to help keep leisure facilities afloat.

Garstang and Thornton centres were chosen for the initial reopenings. The council said the two centres have “retained the highest proportion of their members since reopening after the first lockdown.”

There had been much local concern over the future of the pool and how the facility would be funded.

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