Redbridge swimming pool faces further delays after Labour move

Cllr Jas Athwal

Cllr Jas Athwal - Credit: Archant

A new swimming pool for the south of Redbridge is facing yet another delay after the Labour group requisitioned the decision at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

The former Ilford swimming pool being demolished

The former Ilford swimming pool being demolished - Credit: Archant

This month, plans were approved by Redbridge Council’s policy and resources service committee for a £40,000 study to see where a temporary 25m pool tank could be built.

The Redbridge Labour group’s plea to look again next month left Councillor Ian Bond wondering when exactly the pool would get built next year.

Speaking to the Recorder afterwards, Cllr Bond (Lib Dem, Roding) said: “The issue is that by dealing with it in January, we will have less time to start the work. “It reduces the possibility of building the pool by the end of next year. Labour could have brought the issues forward which would have made it easier.”

According to the report, revealed last month, the proposed steel-sided 25m pool would be temporary and would only last between two to five years before it would have to be replaced.

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Cllr Keith Prince, the council leader, reiterated his desire to have a permanent facility in the borough, but said “there are big question marks” with regards to local government funding currently.

Cllr Prince (Con, Barkingside) said: “We have been waiting for quite a number of years for a new swimming pool.

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“Of course, we would like a 50m swimming pool but we do not have the money for that.

“The 25m pool is a good practice size pool. I do not understand why Labour has been against it - most people in the borough want their children to learn to swim. “Yes it is a five to 10 year fix but in five, 10 years the borough and the country could be in a far better situation.”

But Cllr Jas Athwal, the Labour leader, likened the temporary pool to a “tin can” when speaking after the meeting.

Cllr Athwal (Lab, Mayfield) said: ““We are going to spend close to £4 million for a tin can which will only last for two to five years.

“The swimming pool is not value for money. What we need is a permanent solution.”

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