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Council stands by decision to close Edgeware Pool


From: Jan McCarthy - CCC Communication Team

MEDIA RELEASE 12 October 2006

Council stands by decision to close Edgeware Pool

The Christchurch City Council today advised Friends of Edgeware that is was standing behind its decision to close Edgeware Pool.

This follows a deputation to the Council last week and a subsequent community proposal to manage the facility. This proposal sought a Council grant of $150,000 to undertake the $295,800 repairs, with the remainder of the cost being met by an interest-free Council loan repaid over time through fundraising.

Industry experts have put the cost to repair Edgeware Pool at between $400,000 and $600,000.

In addition, the Friends requested a $3 Council subsidy per swim, an annual Council grant of $10,000 and $5000 funding from grants to contribute towards annual operating costs.

Councillor Carole Evans, who chaired the Working Party on Edgeware Pool, said it should be noted that the repairs would not comply with the New Zealand Standard NZS4441 and created health and safety issues because the water depth would be too shallow.

She told the Friends of Edgeware today that their ambitious plan to manage the facility was inconsistent with the Council's Aquatic Facilities Plan which was adopted by Council in June.

"Council endorsed the decision to close Edgeware Pool as part of the LTCCP process." She said there was no provision within Council budgets to provide the capital works funds needed to repair the pool through either a grant of loan, nor was there any available funding to assist with ongoing annual operational costs.

"The community has not convinced Council that their business plan is viable, such as future financial projections, operating protocols and health and safety precautions, which will guarantee the future sustainability of the pool under community management."

Cr Evans said third party operation of Council assets in the past had resulted in ratepayer-funded rescue packages and costly asset repairs.

"The Council acknowledges the community's passion and commitment to preserve this facility but stands by its original decision to close Edgeware Pool," she said.

Ends

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