Poulton pool must reopen too, says councillor

Campaigners have hailed the announcement that Fleetwood swimming pool is to reopen - but a Wyre councillor says Poulton's pool must not be allowed to stay shut.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 5:23 pm

Coun Holly Swales says some residents in Poulton have told her they are disappointed the amenity is not going to reopen when Wyre's other YMCA centres will.

It follows the welcome confirmation by Wyre Council that a successful £220,000 bid for a Government grant will mean centres and pools will be able to open their doors when lockdown ends, after varying periods of closure.

Thornton and Garstang Leisure Centres will reopen on April 12 , followed by the gym and pool at Fleetwood and the pool at Garstang on May 1.

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The YMCA will keep the centre at Poulton under review, with a view to reopening it before September.

The closure of the Fleetwood pool, in particular, proved controversial, as Wyre's Cabinet agreed last year that funds should be allocated to reopen the Garstang and Thornton centres but keep Fleetwood and Poulton closed, while under review

It led to a campaign group, Save Fleetwood Pool, being set up online.

Coun Swales, the Labour member for Bourne ward in Thornton, said:"It's good news Fleetwood swimming pool is going to reopen.

"However the battle goes on to reopen Poulton swimming pool and leisure centre which comes under review before September.

"There are people in Poulton who struggle to get to Fleetwood and schools which used it too.

"It is vital this amenity is reopened as soon as possible."

This was echoed by fellow Labour members on Wyre Council, who had previously called for all the borough's pools to reopen, including the Fleetwood amenity which has been closed since March last year.

But Wyre Council says that it is necessary for the facilities to be opened in a phased way, rather than all at once,

A Wyre Council spokesman said: "The money is being used for a phased reopening and the hope is that by September, all the YMCA centres will be reopen.

"A successful uptake of some facilities will allow for all facilities to open eventually.

"At the moment one centre and some YMCA staff are being used to support lateral flow testing for symptom free workers in Wyre.

"This is something we need to be able to offer over the coming months and phased plan also allows us to facilitate this.”

The successful grant, from the Government's National Leisure Recovery Fund, is in addition to the £1 million of extra funding provided by Wyre Council to Fylde Coast YMCA to enable the centres to reopen.

Coun Swales has also set up a petition at https://www.facebook.com/405996396426826/posts/1325214844504972/?sfnsn=scwspmo