City councillor calls on colleagues to spend ward funds on saving Peterborough hydrotherapy pool

Future of hydrotherapy pool to be debated by council cabinet next month

By Stephen Briggs
Friday, 17th June 2022, 5:00 am

A Peterborough City Councillor has called on his colleagues to spend a community fund to help save the St George’s Hydrotherapy Pool in the city.

£50,000 a year savings by selling the pool

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The pool is threatened with being permanently closed by the council

When the sale was initially announced, cllr Fitzgerald said it would save the council £50,000 a year.

Hundreds of people have signed a petition in a bid to save the pool.

Leader of the council Wayne Fitzgerald said the city council would have to spend between £70,000 and £100,000 to bring the pool up to a standard to enable to sell it – figures that are disputed by Ranjith Mahamani, who was in talks to buy it.

CLF Funding reinstated by council

However, one city councillor has said £60,000 could be raised to help secure the much loved pool’s future, after the council’s Community Leadership Fund was re-instated.

The fund gives each city councillor £1,000 to spend to help residents in their ward – and has been spent on items including benches and defibrilators.

It was scrapped at the start of this year, but yesterday it was confirmed it had been re-instated.

The Friends of St George’s have already confirmed that residents from every ward in the city used the pool before it was shut.

‘People want the pool to be saved’

Werrington councillor John Fox, who represents Peterborough First said: “If every councillor used their £1,000 and put it towards work at the pool, that would be a big chunk of the money needed.

"The council has spent a lot of money that could have been used to save the pool – there are more advisors to the cabinet members than before, the Lido was opened up earlier in the year, and it costs money to run that and heat it, especially when the weather was not as good.”We could find the money to make those changes for the hydrotherapy pool.

“People want the pool to be saved.

Councillor’s concerns over CLF re-instatement

Cllr Fox was backed up by Peterborough First group leader cllr Chris Harper, who raised concerns about the re-introduction of the CLF money.

He said; “Peterborough City Council didn't have the funds to replace broken or missing bins in my ward just a few months ago, indeed they remain outstanding, and then denied users of the hydrotherapy pool a much-needed facility by callously reneging on a verbal agreement due to increased costs but then and all of a sudden, they've been able to find £60K for CLF.”

The future of the pool is set to be discussed at a meeting of the council’s cabinet in July.

A Peterborough doctor, Neil Modha, has said he has plans to build a new hydrotherapy pool facility at his surgery, and has said he is working with the Friends of St George’s on his proposals.

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