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Christchurch Council approves suburban pool change

9 June 2005

Christchurch City Council approves suburban pool changes

The coming summer will have improved service levels at three of Christchurch City Council's small outdoor swimming pools, following a decision taken at today's Council meeting.

Among the City Council's stock of swimming facilities, there are five of these older "suburban" pools - at Woolston, Edgeware, Papanui, Belfast and Templeton. Today's decision means significant increases in service levels for the 2005/06 summer at the Edgeware, Belfast and Templeton pools. It also means Woolston Pool will only be available for hire by school parties and club swimming groups and the pool at Papanui, which is in poor condition, will be mothballed.

John Filsell, the Council's Recreation Facilities Manager, says the new arrangements will be in place for the coming summer and possibly for 2006/07. The long-term future of all five pools is being considered as part of work to develop a wider Aquatic Facilities Strategy. A report on that project, including proposals for public consultation, is due before the City Council in September.

The new arrangements for suburban pools means the Council can shift available staff and financial resources to better support the three pools which are in the best condition and most popular with swimmers. Doing so will allow them to open for more hours over the summer. There has been some community concern in recent summers that the facilities were having to close almost before summer proper was under way.

No additional money is needed to carry out the scheme, which has had widespread support from user groups and the city's Community Boards, Mr Filsell says.

"Any savings from reducing services at Papanui or Woolston will be used to increase services at Templeton, Belfast and Edgeware," Mr Filsell says.

For example, the new arrangements should allow Edgeware to open for up to 91 days, Belfast up to 77 and Templeton for up to 63 days. Last summer each only had sufficient resources for 50 days' operation. Edgeware, the most popular of the suburban pools with a little over 3000 public uses during the 2004/05 summer, will see some improvements, including hot showers in the changing rooms.

Information about the City Council's leisure centres and swimming pools is on the web at www.ccc.govt.nz/LeisureCentres/poolinfo.asp

ENDS

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