Bristol's Speedwell pool funding cut plan angers councillors

A plan to cut funding from the building of a £6m swimming pool in Bristol's Speedwell area has angered councillors.

The U-turn, backed by city mayor George Ferguson, is being considered by the city council as part of a £35m savings drive.

About £560,000 has already been spent on the pool but councillors say the projected running costs are too high.

Labour councillor Ron Stone said a pool had been needed in the East Bristol area since a previous one shut in 2005.

The deputy leader of the Bristol Labour Group said: "There are new pools in the north and south of the city - our families and children deserve equal opportunity with the rest of the city.

"The mayor says he's always open to new ideas, but I'm beginning to wonder if that only applies to prestige projects in the city centre."

Mr Stone said he was asking for a short deferral to re-examine the projected figures before a final decision was made.

Cabinet member for culture, sport and capital programmes Simon Cook said: "We appreciate the mayor's situation in having to deliver a balanced budget and this means identifying some £35m of savings.

"As well as public consultation on the budget options, the mayor has set up three all party budget review groups.

"One of these groups will consider two capital projects identified as possible budget savings, this includes the proposed £6.2m East Bristol Pool.

"The budget review group is looking at a number of possibilities and will report back to the mayor in due course.

"A budget report will be presented to full council in February."

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