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Fresh fears for the future of Purley pool

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FRESH concerns have been raised about the future of Purley Pool after it was excluded from a document detailing Croydon's long-term development plans.

Campaigners have been fighting to keep the pool open ever since the council first mooted its closure in 2006, in favour of a new facility in Coulsdon.

Last year, council leader Mike Fisher attempted to reassure pool users, telling the Advertiser: "We made it very clear a few years ago that we would not be closing the pool in Purley until alternatives are provided."

Still concerned about its longer-term future, campaigners sought to have the centre protected in Croydon's Local Plan and met a Secretary of State-appointed planning inspector in November last year to put forward their case.

However, last week campaigner Fred Wallis received the report from the meeting, which argued Purley Pool did not need individual protection.

He is now seeking a meeting with council chiefs, to get clarification on the pool's future.

Mr Wallis said: "These plans will settle what happens to Croydon for a long time and they are a big deal. We think the pool should be part of the plan because of its importance to the people in the south of the borough.

"There is no other provision for a facility like that in the area. There is a new one in Waddon but it serves central Croydon more.

"More than 10 schools use it and the council were giving two to three-year-olds free passes. There are also lots of disabled people and many 60 to 80-year-olds so it's a big cross-section of the population."

In 2010, Purley Pool was given a verbal promise from Mike Fisher that the facility would be kept open until the next elections next year.

Tony Newman, leader of the opposition, said this week that Labour would have no intention of closing the pool if they were elected in 2014.

"We have been warned for years that the current administration will encourage people to use the Waddon centre so they can close Purley Pool," he said.

"We would need to look at the books but I challenge Mike Fisher to say he will promise not to close it."

Fresh fears for the future of Purley pool


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