May 21, 2019 11.11 am This story is over 30 months old

Rasen pool plans to be revisited

Councillor McNeill said he wanted to be balanced over the process

Plans for a multi-million pound swimming pool as part of a planned new £6.3 million leisure centre will be revisited, promised the new Conservative leader of West Lindsey District Council.

Councillor Giles McNeill was elected as leader of the council on Tuesday evening, his deputy will be Councillor Owen Bierley.

Among other ambitions, Councillor McNeill said he wanted to look again at the proposals over the next 12 months, in order to see if the plans could be made viable or sustainable.

“I would hope we would do it sooner rather than later, but it might be that we get advice that actually doing it now would just get the same result we had recently and we might be better waiting a little bit longer.

“I want to take a balanced approach – I would love to have a swimming pool at the centre of Market Rasen but just because you want to do something doesn’t mean it’s the thing you should do.”

An artist’s impression of the new dry leisure facility.

However, as it stood, he said, hypothetically, it would require a district council tax rise of around 28% – or 73% if you could localise the rise to the Market Rasen area.

This would be purely for the running costs and don’t take into account sacrifices elsewhere to build the pool, or the referendum costs for the tax hike.

With WLDC’s council tax already rising by 2.99% this year to £213.47 for a Band D property, the additional rises could see residents paying an extra £59.77 or £155.83 respectively.

He said he had begun speaking to the new Liberal Democrat for Market Rasen Councillor Stephen Bunney, but said a solution had yet to be found, adding: “I haven’t found any magic money trees lurking around.

New West Lindsey District Council leader Councillor Giles McNeill sat next to his deputy Councillor Owen Bierley. Photo: Daniel Jaines

“If we can build a swimming pool on a sustainable, and economic basis I don’t see why we wouldn’t, but at the moment it can’t be shown to be done that way and why should everyone in the district have huge council tax hikes to pay for a swimming pool which isn’t viable.”

Ground was broken on the new leisure centre, which is due to open in late spring 2020, last week.

It will include a range of state-of-the-art facilities, a 3G Pitch, multi-use fitness studios, dance studio, a four court sports hall, a 40-station gym, changing facilities and a meeting room/party hosting area.

SUBSCRIBE TO LOCAL DEMOCRACY WEEKLY, our exclusive email newsletter with highlights from coverage every week, as well as insights and analysis from our local democracy reporters.

Spotted an error? Please notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.