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Cash-strapped East Herts Council to shut Ward Freman swimming pool in Buntingford

East Herts Council is set to close Buntingford’s swimming pool next month because it cannot afford to repair it.

Ward Freman pool will shut from Saturday December 23 while options for the future are assessed.

A meeting has been called at The Crown pub in High Street, Buntingford, on Thursday (November 23), from 7pm, so residents can talk to councillors.

Ward Freman swimming pool
Ward Freman swimming pool

Then next Tuesday (November 28), EHC’s executive will consider a report which makes it clear that substantial investment is required to meet essential standards.

The pool is managed by Everyone Active on behalf of EHC – now led by a Green Party and Liberal Democrat power-sharing coalition – and is owned by Hertfordshire County Council. All staff will be offered redeployment opportunities.

Cllr Sarah Hopewell, EHC’s executive member for wellbeing, said: “It is with much disappointment that we announce the closure of Ward Freman swimming pool, owing to the need to address repair issues at the site and its facilities.

“Since we were elected earlier this year, local ward councillors and I have made significant efforts to investigate alternative options to the pool’s closure. However, neither Hertfordshire County Council nor East Herts Council currently have the funding available to invest in the repair works.

“We are continuing discussions and looking to work with the local community to identify a sustainable community-led solution to operating the pool moving forwards so that it might once again service the local community. We are ready to assist and support community groups in any way possible.”

Organisations interested in providing investment and ongoing management for the pool should email customer.services@eastherts.gov.uk.

A final report, with a full evaluation of the options, will be presented to the full council by the end of next March.

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