CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save Purley Pool are celebrating after it was announced this morning (Monday) the council was dropping plans to close it in April.
The turnaround follows talks last week between those fighting to save the pool and council leader Tony Newman.
The council says the pool "will be kept open until it can no longer be used."
But it remains vague about exactly what it can do to keep it running, when only weeks ago Cllr Newman was making it plain it was not viable to spend the £780,000 needed to keep the pool functioning.
Another £200,000 is needed annually to meet running costs.
The council will now work with members of the community on a joint survey of the pool.
But it says it was agreed that the decision may need to be reviewed if, in the coming months, there are any major investment or health and safety concerns.
Cllr Newman said today: "I think that everyone understands that due to chronic under investment over recent years the pool could not continue forever in its current dilapidated state.
"It was quite right to review this as part of the budget proposals, as there simply isn't the money available to make the pool viable in the long-term."
He added: "The pool has almost reached the end of its life. However, we believe that we can find a way to keep it open until that time comes. This also gives us more time to work with the community on the future regeneration plans for Purley."
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said the council had listened to residents' concerns and "are delighted that we have reached an agreement that allows us to keep the pool open while it can still be safely used and enjoyed by the community."
He said: "We continue to explore ways to keep facilities open and to explore how we can re-provide much improved facilities in any new development.
"We do have to recognise that all council facilities and services are under threat from the funding cuts by the government to local government, leisure provision is no exception."
Fred Wallis, of the Save Purley Pool campaign, thanked Cllr Newman for listening to representations from residents wanting to keep the pool open for the benefit of the community.
He said: "The local representatives look forward to helping the council in whatever way possible to see that the pool and gym can be maintained at a satisfactory level without unnecessary expenditure.
"We would like to say that Purley pool is at the heart of the south of the borough and real long term benefits can be had by all if a swimming pool and gym is planned for in the regeneration of Purley."