Local Lib Dems have vowed to fight to protect leisure facilities in York, after it emerged the Labour group were considering the closure of the city’s largest swimming pool.
Last week local Labour Leader James Alexander said the pool was too expensive to run and highlighted claims that the city was oversupplied with swimming facilities.
This is not the first time that Labour have looked at closing Yearsley pool. In 2002 the Labour group proposed closure and the pool was only saved after Liberal Democrats campaigned to keep it open and won the subsequent election in 2003.
Yearsley is the only long course pool in the city and so is a unique attraction for the increasing number of fitness swimmers. Closing Yearsley and replacing it with smaller pools would mean the city would be without a pool that meets the needs of those people who swim for fitness.
In contrast to Labour’s failure to invest anything in the city’s pools during their time in power, the Liberal Democrats have invested £11m over the last 8 years and have secured more than £7m more through innovative partnerships like the one with the University of York that will deliver the new sports village pool.
Part of that £11m of investment has seen more than £1m spent on improving Yearsley Pool. These improvements have been welcomed by residents and the refurbished pool is now attracting record numbers of visitors. The number of visitors to Yearsley pool has risen by 40% since 2005
It is now becoming clear that no service in the city is safe from Labour, libraries and swimming pools are already under threat and those are only the ones we know about. Labour should be honest with the public about the full scale of their proposed cuts.
We will shortly be arranging a petition to help fight the closure of Yearsley and will post details here as soon as I have them.