Cornish pool campaigners angry over funding amount

Camelford Leisure Centre swimming pool The centre's council subsidy is to be withdrawn from the end of the year

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Campaigners for a threatened Cornish leisure centre say they are angry extra cash offered by Cornwall Council will not keep the centre open for a year.

Supporters of the Camelford centre said they believed a "substantial" grant offered earlier in the month would mean a year to develop a business plan.

The centre costs about £117,000 a year to run. On Monday campaigners were told it would receive £50,000.

The council said the term "substantial" did not mean a year's worth of money.

'Watered down'

Campaigner Chris Ingrams said they were told what the total amount was at a meeting on Monday night to discuss a 12-month business plan.

He said supporters attended the meeting "bearing in mind we'd been promised they [the council] were going to fully fund the centre for that period to enable us to do that".

He said: "At a scrutiny meeting on 4 November, council leader Alec Robertson found money in his contingency fund to allow full funding for the centre for the following year and a small amount for the year after.

"During that meeting, that was watered down to 'substantial funding'. But what was announced to us last night was £50,000, which is less than 45% of what is actually required."

The council's portfolio holder for leisure Joan Symons said that she only found out what the amount would be just before the Monday meeting.

But she added that campaigners should have realised that "a substantial amount is not the full amount".

She said: "I'm sorry they feel they were let down, I really do. But, unfortunately, obviously they weren't listening."

Staff at Camelford Leisure Centre were told in October that their council subsidy would be withdrawn from the end of the year.

Cornwall Council is trying to save £110m over the next four years.

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