A brand new public swimming pool facility for Spalding is being looked at as part of improvements in leisure facilities across the district, it’s been claimed.
South Holland District Council is “looking at replacing” its facilities which includes the Castle Sports Complex and Peele Leisure Centre in Long Sutton.
Coun Angela Newton asked the cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday why the authority’s ideas for new leisure facilities, including a “new pool” had yet to be announced.
Amid an agenda item about council finances Coun Newton, the ward councillor for Spalding Monkshouse, said: “I was hoping that before now you would be announcing when we’re going to get the new pool.
“I think the public find it (the leisure facilities) unacceptable in today’s age for a district this size that’s looking to attract a lot more business and people to live and work here and we certainly need improvements.
“With the money we’ve got available I would have thought that you’d be at least telling people what you’ve got in mind and when we can expect to see a start perhaps on later improvements to our leisure facilities.”
Gary Taylor, SHDC’s portfolio holder for communities and facilities, confirmed that further improvements were to come including that the council was looking to replace current facilities.
Responding to Coun Newton’s comment on a “new pool” he said: “As you all know we have a long term plan to invest in our leisure facilities across the district, not just in Spalding,” he told the Tuesday’s cabinet meeting.
“That’s why we will continue to invest in the Peele at Long Sutton also.
“I was at the swimming pool last night and users are very happy with the improvements since the new contractor took over.
“There’s more to do but quite a few councils in this country have slashed and burned their leisure facilities even closed them down.
“We’re not doing that, we’re maintaining them, enhancing them and looking at replacing them which I think is good for all of us.”
He continued: “We plan to enhance our leisure facilities, be proud of them and encourage residents who have not attended recently to go there because they’ve considerably improved since March 1.”
Rob Walker, SHDC Executive Director Of Place, told the meeting that the council was carrying out required surveys of the leisure facilities and consultations over a 12-month period.
“Until that piece of work is completed we’re not able to say,” he said in answer to Coun Newton’s question. “The reason it takes longer than we like is it (the consultation) needs to run for 12 months as it needs to do a winter and summer season to make sure all sports, both indoors and outdoor, have the opportunity to be part of the process.”
The Voice first reported of a potential overhaul of both the Castle Sports Complex and Swimming Pool and Peele Leisure Centre was in the offing when we revealed SHDC was looking to change who runs the facilities back in March 2018.
It followed a number of complaints over the state of the facilities.
That process ended with Parkwood Leisure taking over from 1Life on March 1.
A report to SHDC’s Performance Monitoring Panel by the authority’s community development manager Rachel Rowett has highlighted praise for improvements made since the new operator took over.
The report says participation levels are up at both leisure centres.
It continues that increased levels of cleaning and quality standards have been implemented. New gym equipment has also been installed.
The one issue was that the sauna at the Castle Sports Complex had been closed since mid-March “due to it being assessed as not conforming to industry standards”.