No plans to shut Yearsley swimming pool - Labour

NO CLOSURE: Labour has stated that it has no plans to shut Yearsley swimming pool

NO CLOSURE: Labour has stated that it has no plans to shut Yearsley swimming pool

First published in News
Last updated

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.

Comments (10)

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7:58am Wed 3 Sep 14

nearlyman says...

What do the council care ? most are in comers who think they are climbing the greasy pole to better things. For them York is just a practice run (in their own minds) till the big call comes.
What do the council care ? most are in comers who think they are climbing the greasy pole to better things. For them York is just a practice run (in their own minds) till the big call comes. nearlyman
  • Score: -10

8:15am Wed 3 Sep 14

MrsHoney says...

I love Yearsley pool, it's so nice to be able to have a proper swim rather than in these tiny other pools we have. It's just a shame the carpark is miniscule and almost impossible to move in if your car is any bigger than a Corsa! I know they're saying they're not going to close it, I hope they mean it as it's no good replacing an Olympic sized pool with yet another pond.
I love Yearsley pool, it's so nice to be able to have a proper swim rather than in these tiny other pools we have. It's just a shame the carpark is miniscule and almost impossible to move in if your car is any bigger than a Corsa! I know they're saying they're not going to close it, I hope they mean it as it's no good replacing an Olympic sized pool with yet another pond. MrsHoney
  • Score: 28

8:27am Wed 3 Sep 14

Oaklands Resident says...

The Council report on the future of swimming pools in York makes it clear that they intend to eliminate subsidies. They have allowed £323,000 a year in taxpayers contributions to cover all leisure facilities in the City from 2016. Most of this will go to Huntington.

In addition, taxpayers will have to find £720,000 a year in debt charges on the borrowing necessary to fund the stadium complex construction costs.

There simply won't be anything left for Yearsley and it is ridiculous to expect volunteers to run a swimming pool of that size. They would need to cope with a £250,000 a year income shortfall (currently covered by the Council) and would have to complete with 3 modern public (and numerous other private) pools. There is no scope to expand and encompass more profitable activities at Yearsley. Its 50 yard long pool remains its unique selling point.

Huntington has turned into the ultimate Council vanity project.

There is a limit to what volunteers can be expected to do. That limit has already been reached by this Council.

At Yearsley the deeds of the building and the fact that it is Listed mean that closure will result in a derelict eyesore - a perpetual monument to the failed Alexander experiment.

NB. Cllr Crisp is responsible for this shambles . Why doesn't she stand up and be counted instead of relaying on "shadowy" Labour spokespeople?
The Council report on the future of swimming pools in York makes it clear that they intend to eliminate subsidies. They have allowed £323,000 a year in taxpayers contributions to cover all leisure facilities in the City from 2016. Most of this will go to Huntington. In addition, taxpayers will have to find £720,000 a year in debt charges on the borrowing necessary to fund the stadium complex construction costs. There simply won't be anything left for Yearsley and it is ridiculous to expect volunteers to run a swimming pool of that size. They would need to cope with a £250,000 a year income shortfall (currently covered by the Council) and would have to complete with 3 modern public (and numerous other private) pools. There is no scope to expand and encompass more profitable activities at Yearsley. Its 50 yard long pool remains its unique selling point. Huntington has turned into the ultimate Council vanity project. There is a limit to what volunteers can be expected to do. That limit has already been reached by this Council. At Yearsley the deeds of the building and the fact that it is Listed mean that closure will result in a derelict eyesore - a perpetual monument to the failed Alexander experiment. NB. Cllr Crisp is responsible for this shambles . Why doesn't she stand up and be counted instead of relaying on "shadowy" Labour spokespeople? Oaklands Resident
  • Score: -24

9:54am Wed 3 Sep 14

Fanny Free House says...

Totally agree with Oaklands Resident.

You don't need to have plans to close Yearsley, the result of new facilities and the withdrawel of subsidies will create the right environment to facilitate it's closure.

While discussing the Yearsley issue we should not forget the big prize which is the Central Library, a valuable asset for York and has a significant risk of being sold off on the back of the community stadium project.

The council has not made any statement as to the future of the Central Library post the community stadium, but we should not loose sight of it's impact and certainly not be diverted from the issue, Yeasley is important but massively important is the central libraries future.
Totally agree with Oaklands Resident. You don't need to have plans to close Yearsley, the result of new facilities and the withdrawel of subsidies will create the right environment to facilitate it's closure. While discussing the Yearsley issue we should not forget the big prize which is the Central Library, a valuable asset for York and has a significant risk of being sold off on the back of the community stadium project. The council has not made any statement as to the future of the Central Library post the community stadium, but we should not loose sight of it's impact and certainly not be diverted from the issue, Yeasley is important but massively important is the central libraries future. Fanny Free House
  • Score: -26

10:50am Wed 3 Sep 14

X5019c says...

nearlyman wrote:
What do the council care ? most are in comers who think they are climbing the greasy pole to better things. For them York is just a practice run (in their own minds) till the big call comes.
Bang on! I think anyone standing for senior council positions should have lived in the City for at least ten years before being eligible for office. Their argument would be that it would prevent them from getting the best candidates but looking at the present shower I would say that some of the ducks from Rowntree Park to do a better job.
[quote][p][bold]nearlyman[/bold] wrote: What do the council care ? most are in comers who think they are climbing the greasy pole to better things. For them York is just a practice run (in their own minds) till the big call comes.[/p][/quote]Bang on! I think anyone standing for senior council positions should have lived in the City for at least ten years before being eligible for office. Their argument would be that it would prevent them from getting the best candidates but looking at the present shower I would say that some of the ducks from Rowntree Park to do a better job. X5019c
  • Score: 8

11:07am Wed 3 Sep 14

steveb1607 says...

As a small child from a council estate in the near vicinity I learned to swim at the Yearsley baths. We didn't have much money as a family like so many others from the area. The baths was somewhere that was affordable to go to have fun with friends. It would be wrong to close the baths as it probably is the same today for the children on the nearby council estates. They would have to trek to Huntington and probably pay over inflated prices for the new facility making it less affordable.
As a small child from a council estate in the near vicinity I learned to swim at the Yearsley baths. We didn't have much money as a family like so many others from the area. The baths was somewhere that was affordable to go to have fun with friends. It would be wrong to close the baths as it probably is the same today for the children on the nearby council estates. They would have to trek to Huntington and probably pay over inflated prices for the new facility making it less affordable. steveb1607
  • Score: 8

11:48am Wed 3 Sep 14

Yeahbutno says...

The Labour group is being deliberately misleading with their wording here.
They may "have no plans to close" Yearsley, but what they do have is a plan to withdraw all subsidies. They know that as things stand that will make Yearsley unsustainable, and they have given GLL a clause whereby they can refuse to operate Yearsley if it doesn't turn a profit.
Labour are abdicating responsibility, and will blame all around them, but this is ultimately THEIR decision. If by some miracle a community group can come up with a workable plan, Labour will of course claim the credit, but I can't see that happening.
Labour (and I am someone who voted for them last time I should add) are lying yet again to the residents of York. They may have no active plan to close the pool, but what they don't have is any plan to save it either. And leaving things as they are means that Yearsley WILL close.

So effectively, they DO plan to close it!
The Labour group is being deliberately misleading with their wording here. They may "have no plans to close" Yearsley, but what they do have is a plan to withdraw all subsidies. They know that as things stand that will make Yearsley unsustainable, and they have given GLL a clause whereby they can refuse to operate Yearsley if it doesn't turn a profit. Labour are abdicating responsibility, and will blame all around them, but this is ultimately THEIR decision. If by some miracle a community group can come up with a workable plan, Labour will of course claim the credit, but I can't see that happening. Labour (and I am someone who voted for them last time I should add) are lying yet again to the residents of York. They may have no active plan to close the pool, but what they don't have is any plan to save it either. And leaving things as they are means that Yearsley WILL close. So effectively, they DO plan to close it! Yeahbutno
  • Score: 7

3:39pm Wed 3 Sep 14

CaroleBaines says...

Shame if it is forced to close - we need at least one pool this size. Maybe a clearer statement of position needed from CYC.
Shame if it is forced to close - we need at least one pool this size. Maybe a clearer statement of position needed from CYC. CaroleBaines
  • Score: 6

3:47pm Wed 3 Sep 14

York1900 says...

When you look at Local Authority & Trust Partners GLL is just a syphon for London councils to get more money for there sports projects
Why is York tying its self to a London based group that as London and the south at its hart

York will never do any good as long as We get tied up with other councils who have higher running costs for there services but can give them at the same prices or cheaper than York

London Borough of Barnet
Black Prince Trust
Buckinghamshire County Council
Camden Council
Chiltern District Council
Ealing Council
Epsom & Ewell Borough Council
Hackney Council
London Borough of Hillingdon
Islington Council
Jubilee Hall Trust
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Lambeth Council
London Legacy Development Corporation
London Playing Fields Foundation
Mayor of London
Merton Council
Reading Borough Council
Reigate & Banstead Borough Council
South Bucks District Council
South Oxforshire District Council
Tower Hamlets Council
Waltham Forest Council
West Oxfordshire District Council
City of Westminster
Wycombe District Council
City of York Council
NHS
Bellingham Community Project
Rugby Council
Cambridge City Council
Wandsworth Council
When you look at Local Authority & Trust Partners GLL is just a syphon for London councils to get more money for there sports projects Why is York tying its self to a London based group that as London and the south at its hart York will never do any good as long as We get tied up with other councils who have higher running costs for there services but can give them at the same prices or cheaper than York London Borough of Barnet Black Prince Trust Buckinghamshire County Council Camden Council Chiltern District Council Ealing Council Epsom & Ewell Borough Council Hackney Council London Borough of Hillingdon Islington Council Jubilee Hall Trust Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Lambeth Council London Legacy Development Corporation London Playing Fields Foundation Mayor of London Merton Council Reading Borough Council Reigate & Banstead Borough Council South Bucks District Council South Oxforshire District Council Tower Hamlets Council Waltham Forest Council West Oxfordshire District Council City of Westminster Wycombe District Council City of York Council NHS Bellingham Community Project Rugby Council Cambridge City Council Wandsworth Council York1900
  • Score: 2

7:29pm Wed 3 Sep 14

just_back_in _York says...

The approach to Leisure funding is emensely short sighted. Recent reports from the the IFS, based on ERC data shows despite the headline hype about junk food, the calorie intake per person has been decreasing since the 1980's. Data from the CDC in the US, confirm similar trends. We are all getting heavier but eating less?

It is blaring obvious that the changes in life styles: less manual jobs, less organised sport in schools, less walking to work etc are the main cause of the so called obesity crisis.

All progressive councils should be seeing the trend and looking to increase the amount of leisure facilities of all types. Looking at combining leisure and health budgets is one way forward or at least recognising the link between leisure opportunities and health.
The approach to Leisure funding is emensely short sighted. Recent reports from the the IFS, based on ERC data shows despite the headline hype about junk food, the calorie intake per person has been decreasing since the 1980's. Data from the CDC in the US, confirm similar trends. We are all getting heavier but eating less? It is blaring obvious that the changes in life styles: less manual jobs, less organised sport in schools, less walking to work etc are the main cause of the so called obesity crisis. All progressive councils should be seeing the trend and looking to increase the amount of leisure facilities of all types. Looking at combining leisure and health budgets is one way forward or at least recognising the link between leisure opportunities and health. just_back_in _York
  • Score: 1

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