Temporary pool plans underway for south Redbridge but Labour group slams ‘substandard’ service

The former Ilford swimming pool being demolished

The former Ilford swimming pool being demolished - Credit: Archant

A £40,000 study will soon be underway to see where a pool, leisure complex and library could be put in the south of Redbridge.

The plans, revealed last month, were approved by Redbridge Council’s Policy and Resources Service Committee on Tuesday, despite Labour opposition.

Because the council cannot afford to build a permanent pool, a temporary steel-sided 25m tank is proposed.

According to the report it would have a life of two to five years, but council leader Cllr Keith Prince insisted it could last longer.

He said: “If we do some other work it could go on after the five years.

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“We don’t have the money to build a permanent pool but here we can get something for local people to use, and in five years’ time, the council will be in a different place.”

Labour group leader Cllr Jas Atwal voted against the proposal with other members of his group.

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He said: “We want a permanent pool, with a permanent structure, that will last for the next 40 or 50 years.

“It’s really going back into the 1930s offering a substandard service.”

The scheme is expected to cost between £750,000 and £2million.

A 12m “Boris pool” – part of the London 2012 legacy project “Make a Splash” – will also be coming to Wanstead in January.

Redbridge is the only borough in London with one municipal pool after the closure of Ilford Baths in 2008 left only Fullwell Cross Leisure Centre, in Barkingside.

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