A DECISION on the future of York's threatened swimming pools is expected as soon as next month.

City of York Council has accelerated a city-wide consultation urging residents to tell it what they want to happen to the Barbican and Yearsley swimming pools.

Council leader Rod Hills said today he hoped the final decision will be made at July's full council meeting.

But campaigners claim the council's haste has led it to break a promise to give them a say on how the consultation questionnaire - to be delivered to every city home - is worded.

In a statement supported by Barbican campaigners, Fiona Evans, of the group fighting the threatened closure of Yearsley pool, said: "The Labour group of York City Council have committed an outrageous act of hypocrisy.

"They have blatantly reneged on their commitment, publicly made, to consult the campaigners on the phrasing of the questionnaire."

A spokesman for the York leisure office, formerly the leisure services department, said the questionnaire was being printed now, and campaigners had not seen it in advance.

But he said their views had been taken into consideration.

He said: "There was never an issue of allowing protest groups to write the questionnaire for the consultation.

"However, in talks with various bodies, we have allowed them to raise the issues with which they are concerned."

Council leader Rod Hills agreed the council had promised to talk with campaigners.

He said: "There was a promise that we would consult them. As far as I am concerned, that has been done." Labour recently lost its overall majority in City of York Council following Liberal Democrat victories in two by-elections.

Coun Hills said: "We want the consultation complete before we make a decision, but we have been overtaken by events. It seems the Liberal Democrats are not prepared to wait."

The Liberal Democrats are planning to move a motion tomorrow asking the council to accept that the pools will remain open.

"We have accelerated the process to get the thing complete before the July full council meeting," said Coun Hills.

"We want to make a decision by then."

A huge campaign was launched to save the pools after threats that they may be closed following a services review. More than 25,000 supporters signed a petition opposing closure.

The questionnaire is expected to ask people what facilities they would want to see at the sites currently occupied by the pools.

Liberal Democrat leader Steve Galloway said: "The accusations that we have accelerated the consultation are ridiculous. If our motion is carried there would be no consultation. Our opinion is that we shouldn't be spending £10,000 on the consultation at this time at all, not until we have got a series of costed options of how the sites could be developed to allow swimming to remain.

"The campaigners must be incensed because of the irrelevant questions asked, but mainly because the majority of the leaflet seems to be anti-pools propaganda."