One of Labour's first actions on taking control of the council was to announce the closure of Oaklands, despite their election pledge just a few weeks before, promising to protect it.
Since then we have had total confusion over the future of the site. On one hand we had Labour saying the long term maintenance costs of the pool were too expensive, then we had a statement several months later from council Leader Richard Williams saying he might commit to repair costs. We had Labour on one hand saying that they would not pay the ongoing running costs, then them spending even more money this year keeping it closed, because of the ongoing costs of wages, building costs and lost income from visitors. We have had Labour on one hand saying that they would welcome a private company or charity taking on the pool but on the other hand had them saying that they planned to demolish the whole site within 2 years to make way for a new Sainsbury's. Now Sainsbury's have announced that they won't be proceeding with plans for a new store anyway.
Labour's policy is in total chaos. The pool should have stayed open and the pipe work repairs that were being carried out by the previous Administration should never have been stopped. If Labour won't allow Oaklands to remain a council pool and if they are serious about finding an alternative operator they need to be proactive and clearly spell out whether or not they will commit the council to ongoing repairs and how long any deal with a swimming pool operator will last. Labour also need to be clear about the future of the former Oaklands School building. Months ago the Conservatives called for the building to be used for community use and for other options like business use or nursery provision to be considered, but Labour voted our proposals down.