There is a certain irony in that Fore Street Baths, the earliest built of the remaining public pools in Ipswich, are the most robust. [Photo below] Crown Pools, now 21 years young, requires half a million pounds for general repairs and maintenance, together with, if the opportunity taken, a further half million on improved changing, facilities.
During the latest year for which figures are available (2001-2), 479,000 used Crown Pools, 106,000 used Fore Street and across the very limited season 18,000 paid at the turnstiles at Broomhill. (In simple terms, a typical Band D taxpayer contributes £26 each year towards the running of Crown Pools.)
I ramble towards the sad state of Broomhill, Grade II Listed, almost unique but loved and valued by generations of Ipswich people. What is to become of it? Ipswich Borough Council has decided to consult further and I urge you to take part. Do you want to contribute (via your Council Tax) to the £3 million repair or should we allow this classic 1930s lido to be demolished?
JOHN NORMAN, Vice-Chairman
Stop Press : Broomhill Pool
The report of the Asset Management Review - Swimming Facilities - was published on 4 March 2003 by IBC. We are given four options on the future of swimming in Ipswich.
- Rebuild Broomhill including disabled access and maintenance for ten years but no other improvements. Cost £3m. (Refurbishment £2m.)
- Demolition of Broomhlll, and site put to leisure or other use. Cost £0.4m.
- Improvements to Crown Pools - training/diving pool (£2.5m), improved changing, flume and catering facilities (£0.95m)
- General repair and maintenance of Crown Street and Fore Street (£0.75m)
There will be a period of wide public consultation which will finish on 12 May 2003. There is therefore little time to construct a viable plan to save Broomhill Pool and make suggestions for its future management. The Council's Portfolio Holder is Councillor John Mowles and he will be pleased to receive all your suggestions. The Friends of Broomhill Pool will be putting forward their own ideas. I should be delighted to forward any that readers may have.