Swimmers join the pool fight

Pontefract swimming pool.
Pontefract swimming pool.

More residents have joined the fight to save Pontefract, Castleford and Knottingley pools from closure.

A district-wide leisure review has suggested closing the three facilities and replacing them with one multi-million pound leisure centre.

But pool users have spoken out about the plans, which they say will lead to swimmers getting turned away owing to overcrowding and difficulties for people who can’t travel.

Kathleen Harrap, of West End Avenue, Ackton, uses Pontefract Swimming Pool.

She said: “My friend and I have used Pontefract swimming pool for a number of years and would be greatly upset if it closed.

“I have a medical condition and swimming is the only exercise I can do without pain. Pontefract is already getting crowded because Minsthorpe baths has been closed.

“Not everyone has a car and Pontefract town centre is ideal. I do realise that cutbacks have to be made but the consensus seems to be keep fit and eat healthily.

“The powers-that-be should consider not only the ordinary swimmers, like me and my friend, but the workers in Pontefract, who at the moment can swim before work, in between work and after work. This would be difficult if they had to travel.”

Graham Smith, of Fairfax Avenue, North Featherstone, uses Knottingley and Castleford pools.

He said: “The pools form part of our day to day life. I would suggest reducing the amount of money spent on grounds maintenance – use this to pay for the repairs supposedly needed at the current pools.

“Don’t forget these pools do not belong to the councillors, they belong to the residents of the Wakefield district and should not be closed so that developers can make handsome profits by building on this land and probably building houses that no locals can afford.”