Councillors force a debate on plans to close popular pool

Holbrook Leisure centre, Gosport. ''121974-3
Holbrook Leisure centre, Gosport. ''121974-3
From left, Pauline Jenkins, Sue Jenkins and Tracey Routh 

Picture: Sarah Standing (161713-5023)

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LABOUR councillors in Gosport have forced a debate on the early closure of the town’s leisure centre.

Gosport Borough Council plans to close the Holbrook Recreation Centre, in Forest Way, at the end of the month.

But the decision has been met with fierce opposition from staff and customers.

The council says the building has to be shut down because the roof over the pool is unsafe.

But staff at the centre say there is nothing wrong.

Now the town’s five-strong group of Labour councillors have applied for an urgent meeting to discuss the decision.

The Labour leader, Cllr Dennis Wright, said: ‘There’s a lot of unanswered questions and because we haven’t got any answers we have asked for a special council meeting so it can be discussed.

‘We have called for the meeting first of all because of the number of complaints we’re getting from the public and also from members of staff about their future.

‘It is also about the fact this decision was taken without any councillors being aware.

‘The first we knew of it was when we were getting phone calls from people.

‘We want to find out if the building is unsafe why isn’t it being closed immediately?’

A date for the meeting has not yet been set.

Under council rules it has to be held within 14 days.

As reported in The News, staff at the leisure centre were also told last week they were to be made redundant when the centre closes.

DC Leisure, the company behind the new pool being built nearby, has promised a job interview to all current staff.

The leader of the council, Cllr Mark Hook, says temporary repairs made to the roof after bad weather in April will not last another five months.

There have also been reports of water running down the walls.

A petition calling for a U-turn on the decision has received more than 500 signatures.

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