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Cost fears over Blackbrook pool
AS swimmers look forward to a £5.5million public pool by 2014, a row has erupted over who’s paying for it.
The 25m, eight-lane facility and learner pool would be part-funded by income from a spa and café and developers building in the area.
The rest would come from council funds and loans, but there are fears the sums don’t add up and the project might be aborted.
Reports have been commissioned into the scheme at Blackbrook Pavilion sports centre, Taunton, which would lead to the closure of St James Street pool.
A further £1.2million is needed to repair Station Road pool.
“A new swimming pool is urgently required as well as the modernisation of the Station Road pool at a time when the public are more conscious than ever for the need for good sporting facilities following the Olympics and Paralympics.”
But Mr Horsley said the “untested, unproven and totally unsatisfactory” figures could land council taxpayers or people using the facilities with a £1.6million bill over 20 years.
And he questioned why £136,000 has been earmarked for architect, construction and surveyor fees when the scheme hasn’t received the go-ahead.
He added: “It’s high risk and a gamble with the council’s reserves.”
“He’s taking the worst case scenario of a scene-setting report,” said Mr Williams.
"We’re not making any decisions as to how we go forward until the whole business case is worked up and we can then sort out where the funding is coming from – only then will we know what it’s going to cost.
“He’s criticising the way it’s being funded when we haven’t even agreed on that.”