Peterborough City Council looking at trial use of 'regional swimming pool' for users of mothballed hydrotherapy pool

It’s anticipated alternative hydrotherapy pool options will be presented to Cabinet in July

By Robert Alexander
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 12:24 pm

Peterborough City Council is looking to trial out a regional swimming pool for users of St George’s Hydrotherapy Pool, as it faces closure.

The local authority pulled out of negotiations to sell the facility earlier this year and now the council says it’s undertaking a “comprehensive review of options”.

Councillor Steve Allen, Cabinet Member for Communication, Culture and Communities said: “I recognise and it is encouraging that there is a proposal by a medical practitioner to open a new, purpose-built facility in the sector where it belongs – namely, in the health sector.

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“I’m conscious however, that in the short term, users are left without a provision and to that end we are investigating and alternative option that would offer hydrotherapy to those in the city that need it.

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“We are looking to trial use of the teaching pool at the regional swimming pool later this year so that it can be used for hydrotherapy.”

The use of hydrotherapy requires a warm water pool with a temperature between 32 and 35.5 degrees celsius.

Peterborough City Councillor Deputy leader Steve Allen said officers are indeed undertaking a comprehensive review of the options for hydrotherapy pool users (images: David Lowndes)

He added: “This, we have been advised in our exploratory discussions, could be provided at the teaching pool.

“I will be able to tell you more when plan are fully developed but be assured, we will certainly be talking to the user groups about the proposals as they develop in order to establish the practicality of the option and whether available times can be mutually agreed.”

When the sale was initially announced, leader of the city council, Wayne Fitzgerald, said it would save the council £50,000 a year.

He added that 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.

‘Where are users supposed to go?’

Councillor Irka Yasin (Labour, Park ward) said: “While I thank you for your comprehensive answer councillor Allen, it’s quite apparent that we won’t have a hydrotherapy facility in the city for some time to come.

“Can you please advise me where the users of the hydrotherapy pool are supposed to go to attend and get the service that they need in the meantime?”

Councillor Allen replied: “I share your concerns about the current availability of hydrotherapy in our city and I’m sure many of the users would indeed have made alternative arrangements in other facilities around Peterborough.

“Our officers are, as I’ve said, are undertaking a comprehensive review of the options to obtain such a facility.

“While some people will indeed have made those other arrangements, we are working strenuously to find alternatives and we’ll have a better answer to your question with alternatives at our July Full Council meetings.”

After the meeting had closed the users of St George's Hydrotherapy pool commented on social media: "We have just been informed from a reliable source that the depth of the teaching pool is 0.75m (2ft 5") to 0.90m (2ft 11').

"Sufficient depth of water of 1.20-1.50m is vital for hydrotherapy. St George's, which could really be deeper for adults, is 1.20m (4 ft)."

The July Full Council meeting takes place on Wednesday, 27 July 2022 at Peterborough Town Hall.