We'll keep Fleetwood pool protest going, protesters vow after 'digital' demonstration

A follow-up to this demonstration was staged digitally on New Year's DayA follow-up to this demonstration was staged digitally on New Year's Day
A follow-up to this demonstration was staged digitally on New Year's Day
Protesters who staged an online ’digital demonstration’ against the ongoing closure of Fleetwood’s YMCA Leisure Centre pool have vowed to keep their camapaign going.

The New Year’s Day protest was organised after a second gathering outside the Leisure Centre had to be cancelled after Lancashire went into Tier 4.

The event was staged via the Facebook site Save Fleetwood Swimming Pool and included a number of speakers who again challenged Wyre Council proposals that could keep Fleetwood swimming closed - even when lockdown ends.

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Wyre Council’s Cabinet has agreed funding to eventually reopen Garstang and Thornton centres on a trial basis after lockdown ends but keep Fleetwood and Poulton venues shut while under review.

Ashley Gibson organised and chaired the digital sessionAshley Gibson organised and chaired the digital session
Ashley Gibson organised and chaired the digital session

Around 50 people joined the Facebook event, organised and chaired by Ashley Gibson, a programme leader at Fleetwood Nautical Campus, who said: “It’s clear the opposition to the council plans won’t just die away.”

The speakers were Labour councillors Lorraine Beavers and Holly Swales, Fleetwood Swimming Club coach Elliot Myers and former swimming club member Julie Bradshaw MBE, who swam the English Channel aged 15.

Additionally, many of those who signed into the event posted live comments throughout the session.

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Elliot Myers said during the event: “There are more than 1,200 children on a weekly basis losing out on regular swimming because of the Fleetwood closure, not to mention other groups includinhg a disabled group called the Wyre Flounders

."Reopening Fleetwood pool open makes far more sense from a social distancing view because it is bigger, it has a high roof and space at the sides for people to keep apart."

Coun Beavers said: “Wyre’s scrutiny committee had a chance to look again at the Cabinet decision when it was made clear new data shed light on their dodgy data used in their report - but they still voted against reconsidering it.”

She said more than 40 people had lost their jobs as a result of the ongong closure of the pool, which could potentially have reopened in the summer after the first lockdown.

Wyre says it isn’t economically possible to reopen all four centres, after months of lockdown massively affected finances, and states Garstang pool is more economically viable for a trial reopening.

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