PEMBROKESHIRE County Council’s cabinet has unanimously backed a Notice of Motion tabled by Tenby councillor Sam Skyrme-Blackhall for working quickly to decide where a new pool in Tenby will be built.
Her call for a “working group to consider options for the siting of a new swimming pool in Tenby and to provide a steer on preferred options for progress” to be established was unanimously supported.
A report to cabinet indicates that the pool was built in 1973 by the Tenby Swimming Pool Trust and was subsequently incorporated into the town’s council leisure centre.
It is well used by residents, schools, clubs and visitors, with more than 189,000 public and school visits to the leisure centre in 2019/20, and the report adds that a replacement swimming pool was highlighted as a priority project in the 2018-2028 leisure strategy.
Cllr Skyrme-Blackhall told cabinet that the pool was no longer fit for purpose and was “creaking through each repair and maintenance programme” with the facility vital for the “well being, health and fitness” of Tenby residents and others across the south of the county.
Cllr Skyrme-Blackhall said the impact of Ironman – due to hold it’s 10th event in the town this weekend- on people’s focus on improving health could not be underestimated.
She added that the aim was to ensure work to decide on location was not delayed any further nor overshadowed by “grand master planning” and a “speedy decision” on preferred location was required.
Cabinet member for resident services and leisure Cllr Rhys Sinnett said that the local members were “politically balanced” and it was important to form a “tight” group that worked on a “nimble basis” and quickly work through potential options for location.
He reminded members “that there’s significant capital issues that would need to be addressed” but further work on business cases and funding would be required.
Both council leader Cllr David Simpson and deputy leader Cllr Paul Miller highlighted the desire for a new pool had been “on the boil” for many years and its need was not disputed.
The recommendation to support the notice adds that the early technical review work be noted – including the current lack of external funding availability – and that “option appraisals continue to be progressed with an additional concept bid to be completed if further funding is required.”