Demonstration in campaign to rescue axed Wakefield pool

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DEMONSTRATORS have staged a last-ditch attempt to save a mothballed swimming pool from permanent closure ahead of a crunch meeting today. (Jan 20)

Dozens of objectors to Wakefield Council’s proposal to axe Minsthorpe swimming pool gathered outside the threatened building in South Elmsall near Pontefract on Saturday afternoon.

Council chiefs closed the Minsthorpe pool - the largest pool in Wakefield district – temporarily for ‘essential maintenance works’ last April.

The local authority then announced plans to permanently close the facility after announcing that repairs amounted to £1.2m due to a crack in the pool and a filtration system in poor condition. The council has prepared a report as part of a district-wide leisure review, which is expected to reveal whether the pool will be saved or not.

The report is due to be presented to today’s meeting of the council’s regeneration and economic growth overview and scrutiny committee.

Objectors say the nearest Wakefield Council-run pool is eight miles away in Pontefract.

Members of Minsthorpe 
Pool Action Group (MPAG), which is fighting the closure plans, have already presented a 1,200 signature petition to the council.

And they have collected 800 blue plaques, with each plaque representing a community member who learned to swim at the pool or a child who may not get the chance to learn to swim there.

Group spokesman Andrew Picken said: “There is a real sense of disappointment in the village because there hasn’t been much communication from Wakefield Council.

“We just want to show the council the strength of feeling about the issue in this area. It was one of the most well-used pools in the district.

“I am disgusted. I think it was a totally unjust decision to close it.“

Wakefield Council declined to comment on the demonstration.

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