Shock closure of pool complex by council over swimmer safety

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Daisyfield Pools, Daisy Lane, Blackburn

Daisyfield Pools, Daisy Lane, Blackburn

A council-owned swimming complex has closed until further notice because of ‘serious’ safety fears.

Blackburn’s Daisyfield Pools shut its doors on Friday night for what could be the final time.

It will not reopen in the immediate future while town hall bosses decide whether they can afford to make the necessary repairs.

Its long-term future is now in doubt and due to be debated by senior councillors on Blackburn with Darwen Council’s ruling executive board next month.

The complex in Daisy Lane – which has two separate pools for adults and children – has been run by charitable organisation Half Fish since 2016, running swimming lessons for thousands of children in the town.

The closure decision was taken by Blackburn with Darwen Council’s strategic director of environment and operations Martin Eden.

It was sparked by health and safety concerns about pool plant and equipment in the 118-year-old building and he decided it would not be right to continue providing swimming sessions while the building is in such poor condition.

The council been in discussions with Half Fish about its concerns.

The sudden closure has shocked users of the complex.

Mr Eden said: “We have had to take a difficult decision to close the pool, but the safety of users and staff must be our priority.

“Significant investment is needed for repairs and to bring the building back to an acceptable standard.

“Executive members will give consideration to the building’s future at the executive board meeting on September 7.”

Mr Eden’s executive decision published on Friday night reads: “Following recent surveys, there are increasing concerns regarding health and safety of the building and the pool plant at Daisyfield Pools.

“The health and safety of service users and the operational staff cannot be put at risk, and immediate action is necessary pending consideration of a full report and decision by executive board regarding future operations at Daisyfield Pools.

“The issues identified cannot be remedied immediately and therefore urgent steps are needed to protect public health and safety, pending full consideration and decision by executive board regarding the longer-term position and future use of Daisyfield Pools.

“The health and safety concerns identified following recent surveys are of a serious nature and poses a risk to public health and safety.

“There is no capital or revenue funding available to undertake the immediate remediation works and measures.

“The facility cannot remain open to the public until the issues identified have been remediated.

“As this cannot be done immediately, the use of the swimming pool must cease.

“To take no action would be a serious health and safety risk to the public.”

One parent, who asked not to be named, said: “It is in need of money being spent on it but the council in there misguided ways have decided to close the baths rather than do the work.

“The closure of this facility will devastate many children who have made friends and have gained so much.

“My daughter swims up to four times a week and has been on swim camp all week. Other lessons are booked up and there are months of waiting times for spots.

“This means all the children who were having lessons will now be without.

“We need support to keep this vital facility going.”

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