PLANS are not being put in place to close a popular swimming pool, according to City of York Council.
The authority's ruling Labour Group says it does not intend to pull the covers over Yearsley Swimming pool for good, but would welcome ideas to form a community-led operation to reduce costs if ambitious proposals to build a new 8,000 seater stadium and pool, in Huntington, go ahead.
As reported last week, Yearsley Pool Action Group (YPAG) believe the only option for the Haley Terrace venue would be to shut its doors, resulting in the loss of “the unique, historic and valuable” attraction.
The group has fought a battle to keep the pool open for the past 15 years, and it was successful in securing a £1.2million refurbishment in 2007.
However, they believe it will be sacrificed if the new facilities open in 2016, and have pointed to a review of the service, which will be carried out six months before the new site opens, as the main reason it will inevitably close.
Concerns were also raised after around 80 staff at York's Waterworld were told they would be made redundant as City of York Council focus their efforts on running the new hub.
A spokesman for the Labour Group said: “The public would expect us to explore options with all partners to reduce this subsidy, just as we are working to ensure all other leisure facilities in York are cost-neutral. We would really welcome community-driven ideas for making the transition to the facility becoming more self-sustaining.
"Labour has no plans for closure and have stated this a number of times before."
Meanwhile, the council's Liberal Democrats claim it is “deeply concerning” that Labour is threatening the facility by launching a review.
Cllr Keith Aspden, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said: "In 2002 the Labour Group proposed closure and the pool was only saved after Liberal Democrats fought to keep it open and then won the election in 2003.
“We subsequently spent £1.2m on upgrading the pool. This improvement was welcomed by residents and saw the number of visitors rise by 40 per cent.
“It is deeply concerning that again Labour is threatening Yearsley Pool, which attracts 12,000 visitors per month and is hugely valued by local residents. Labour should be working with local people and the Yearsley Pool Action Group to ensure access to local swimming facilities are not reduced and this unique pool is protected.