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Fresh questions raised over Yearsleys long term future

The long term future of Yearsley pool remains far from certain after it was confirmed no new council money is to be put into running the pool.
 
At a meeting of the Council's Executive last week, Lib Dem Councillor Nigel Ayre said:
 
"We're not seeking any additional financial support from the council for Yearsley".
 
Recent news coverage had suggested the pool’s future was secure for the next 13 years, but detail provided to the council’s Executive last week confirms Yearsley’s future will be reviewed after two years.
 
The pool currently has funding in place up to 2022 under the terms of the Labour amended budget passed in February. The new Lib Dem and Tory administration has said that it will secure the future for 13 years up to 2028, but has not identified how the additional 6 years (from 2022 to 2028) will be paid for. The amount of council funding needed would be around £300,000 per year, or £1.8m over the additional 6 years pledged by the administration.
 
Labour’s Deputy Leader, Coun. Stuart Barnes attended the meeting. He said:
 
“What we have from the Executive is a verbal commitment to Yearsley pool for the next 13 years, one which isn't backed up with money.  
 
“It was a Labour budget, with a Green party amendment in February which provided the budget to fund Yearsley up to 2022, but in the current climate of government cuts, it’s incredible, and quite unrealistic, that a commitment can be given for 13 years.  It’s surprising that the Conservatives have been talked into writing a blank cheque in this way”.
 
Council officers confirmed last week that following a two year period, the council would revisit Yearsley pool in considering the best way to operate the facility, but no financial commitment has been made.  It remains unclear whether Yearsley could become a long term inclusion in the contract with GLL, where it could compete with the planned swimming facility at Monks Cross, also operated by GLL.
 
Coun. Barnes said the long term picture remains unclear:
 
“We all want and hope to see Yearsley’s future secured but it’s difficult to see how nothing more than a verbal commitment beyond two years provides the reassurance some are looking for.  The Executive Member has said there will be no new money for Yearsley so if this is true, it begs the question - where is the money coming from?”.

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