You decide pools future

Story appeared in: Review | July 10th, 2017

CHOOSING new councillors won't be the only decision Cumberland residents have to make at local government elections on September 9 with the future of the area's five pools being put into community hands.
Voters will be polled on their support for the council continuing to operate and subsidise swimming pools at Guildford, Granville, Merrylands, Wentworthville and Lidcombe.
According to a report the pools together cater to approximately 405,000 visitors each year.
"In 2018 it is estimated that the total operating costs of all five pools will exceed pool revenues by almost $2.15 million, and it is expected that the shortfall will increase in subsequent years. Council subsidises these pools by using other funding sources to cover the shortfall, such as business and residential rates."
Residents will be provided with information on both the Yes and No cases, using information from a Swimming Pools - Post-Amalgamation Options, but the full report won't be put on public exhibition before the poll.
However the pool poll came under fire from Merrylands resident Gillian Kirby who said voters needed enough information to make an informed decision.
"I'm not the only one who finds it incomprehensible that this matter will go to the polls – and worded as it is," she said.
Administrator Viv May said he understood that a Yes vote would end a "grandiose plans" for a multi-million 'wellness centre' for Merrylands.
He added that the council would also continue with plans for three 'wet play' areas in Merrylands, Wentworthville and Duck River to ensure people don't have to pay to keep cool in summer.
"Not everyone wants to swim," he said.

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Publication: Review | Section: News | Author: Kim Palmer | Story ID: 129302 | Viewcount: 2208