|Council to consider pool proposals for Hindley and Tyldesley
Wigan Council will consider applications from two external groups who have expressed an interest in taking over the management and operation of community swimming pools in Hindley and Tyldesley.
As part of the ongoing plans to secure the future of the public swimming pools, the council asked for voluntary groups and community organisations and to come forward with proposals to take ownership of either pool as a going concern.
The move was generated by increasing pressure on council budgets which has led leisure chiefs to look at new ways of continuing the service whilst cutting council costs.
The expressions of interest period came to a close last week and council officers report that two organisations have come forward with plans for running the pools.
One organisation has put in a bid for Hindley, the other for Tyldesley.
At the same time Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust has been holding a series of successful public meetings with residents in the two communities to explain the process and to listen to people’s opinions.
Wigan Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Cllr Chris Ready, says: “We are really pleased that we have received interest from outside groups who want to run one of these two pools and we shall now be examining the proposals in greater detail.
“The public meetings held by the Trust have shown that people feel passionately about their local pool and this is admirable. We have also received a petition about Hindley Pool which will need to be debated by the Full Council.
“We too believe that these facilities are worth saving but we have to do this against the background of significant pressure on council budgets which is forcing us to take some painful decisions in order to protect services to the most vulnerable members of our community.
“Hopefully the consultation and expressions of interest process have shown people that we are serious in our efforts to try and retain these pools because closing them would have been the quick and easy option.
“We want the local communities to continue to work with us as this process develops and it would be premature to reveal the interested parties at this stage we will be making our findings known in due course.”
Cllr Ready adds: “The expressions of interest period and consultation period have both now closed and we are reviewing all the responses we have received and all potential options. Now that the expressions of interests period is over we believe it is in everyone’s best interest that we reach a decision and not delay the process or prolong the uncertainty any longer than is necessary, but there is still a lot of work to do to consider all the possibilities and implications fully.
“We want to continue working with the community to reach the best possible outcome for them and this will remain at the forefront of the final decision that is taken.”