Paddling pool may be saved by community

Joanne French
Joanne French
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A COMMUNITY takeover could save Fleetwood’s paddling pool.

Wyre Council has axed the seafront play area to save £12,000, leading to outrage from local families who have raised an online petition to save it.

But hopes that the authority will change its mind are fading and meetings tomorrow and on Monday will decide if local people can run it themselves.

Options being looked at are a dedicated community organisation to run it or a takeover by Fleetwood Town Council.

Protester Joanne French (left) said: “It will need a lot to be done. We would need a committee and to apply for charitable status and we would have to ask for the pool to be given to the community. The trouble is Wyre have passed it now.

“But we will carry on with the petition. It shows people want the paddling pool and the way this has been done is wrong.”

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Protesters will meet with town council officials at the council offices at 4.30pm on Monday.

On Sunday, at 5pm, town councillor Dave Shaw will host a meeting at the Strawberry Gardens pub, where he is landlord.

He said: “I am going to bring this up at the town council.

“This is an important amenity for Fleetwood and should be paid for by Fleetwood.

“I would like to see it maintained by Fleetwood.”

Chairman of the town council, Coun Alan Marsh, added: “A lot of money has been spent on the Marine Gardens but if we are constantly closing facilities on the seafront it defeats the object.

“The town council could fund the pool but these things are better done by a committee of residents.

“We will have to look at it to see what can be done.”

Fleetwood Civic Society has also joined the protest.

Chairman Margaret Daniels said: “We are incensed and will be sending very strong objections to Wyre Council. We want questions answered about the costings for this pool.

“It is a major facility for a tourist town. The new Marine Gardens are very nice, but there is no substitute for a paddling pool. People bought beach chalets nearby because of the paddling pool.”

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