Sudden announcement for West Denton Pool - no money, but there's an election in May......beware false hopes!

February 3, 2021 5:23 PM

Cllr Ali Avaei at Newcastle City CouncilThe Liberal Democrats Opposition have expressed scepticism that the Labour Administration's announcement of a new pool at West Denton has been fully thought through, noting that even if any scheme does go ahead, residents will have to go without a much loved community facility for at least two years.

Opposition Councillors feel that key questions remain: why has this announcement been made now? Where will the funding come from? And will any new pool boast the same range of facilities as the one both GLL and the Council claim they cannot afford to run?

Cllr Ali Avaei, Opposition Spokesperson for Leisure said: "No mention of the strategic review or the potential for a new build was made at last month's Council meeting, when the Administration came under fire for not considering all the options for keeping West Denton Pool open. It beggars belief, if this is a serious proposal, that these considerations weren't already under discussion. So why didn't they come up?

"If the proposal is in response to the Council debate, then why rush it out now, with elections looming in May? They are at the risk of getting residents' hopes up, only to dash them if it isn't deemed 'feasible'."

Cllr Nick Cott, Leader of the Opposition, said: "The Council is speaking in optimistic terms about the possibility of a new pool opening in West Denton, but the reality is that no money has been committed - or even identified - to actually fund the build, yet.

"The recent announcement of a significant scaling back of the Council's ambitions at Bullocksteads, with £5m cut from the project, is not a good omen for a new £2m project. Residents will rightly be cautious when this Labour Administration has a record of announcing big projects to great fanfare, only to quietly scale them back in due course."