Wiltshire Publications

Closures and delays plague Westbury Pool

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 at 12:13 pm.

WESTBURY Swimming Pool is unlikely to re-open as planned this week after a second period of work. The pool was planned to be re-opened this Thursday, but as the White Horse News went to press on Monday, Wiltshire Council said an opening on the 28th was now ‘unlikely’.

It is the latest in a series of closures and delays. The pool was closed for eight weeks between November and January, to allow necessary maintenance work to be carried out. The town’s Victorian swimming pool re-opened in January a week later than planned. However, the work that was carried out on the pool by Wiltshire Council’s contractors was deemed unsatisfactory and the pool was forced to be closed again on 4th March. Now, its planned re-opening this week has been put on hold, just as schoolchildren are home for the Easter holidays, during which Wiltshire Council was offering free swimming for youngsters.

The pool’s biggest user, Westbury Amateur Swimming Club, says that Wiltshire Council has not notified them of any delay. Neil Tribick of the club said that, while they accepted the first closure as necessary, subsequent closures and delays are causing difficulties for the club. “This time we’ve got irritated with it,” he said. “It’s beginning to be a real problem. Some parents like their kids to go swimming but when you ask them to drive five or six miles to Trowbridge they say, ‘we’ll come back when the pool re-opens’. The club loses its revenue and is paying out more money than it needs to – hiring space elsewhere is more expensive than your own pool.

“There are the younger ones who have only just started – with prolonged periods of inactivity they might find other sports to do and we’ll lose them for good.”

The club has put in a compensation claim for the second period of closure, and says it will look at extending this if the closure continues for a substantial length of time.

Before the pool closure, Wiltshire Council was promoting its free swimming sessions for under 16s during the Easter holidays, between 25th March and 5th April. However, now young people in Westbury will have to take the time and expense to travel to neighbouring towns if they want to make the most of the offer.

More information on local pools can be found on the council’s website www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisureandsportscentres