Daisyfield Pools to remain closed during public consultation

Published Friday 8 September 2023 at 9:30

Users of Daisyfield Pools in Blackburn are to be fully consulted before the final decision is made about the facility’s future.

Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive Board councillors considered a report into the condition of the building and pool plant at their meeting on the evening of Thursday 7 September.

They also listened to the views of Shelley Whitehead, Director of HALF Fish which has operated from Daisyfield Pools since 2016 with responsibility for operating pool plant and covering day-to-day running costs of the pool.

Councillors agreed that Daisyfield Pools will remain closed for the immediate future, due to serious health and safety concerns including the repeated presence of legionella bacteria in parts of the building.

However, the current arrangement for HALF Fish HQ to operate and manage Daisyfield Pools will end with immediate effect.

Coun Damian Talbot, Executive Member for Prevention, Health & Wellbeing, said:

At the meeting of Executive Board earlier last night we considered the findings of two reviews into the condition of the 118 year old building which the Council owns, and the operation and management of the pools. Neither was pleasant reading, highlighting some very serious health and safety risks to the public and staff.

Given this, we had no option but to agree that the building remain closed, to keep pool users and staff safe. We have already been able to accommodate some pool user groups at Blackburn Leisure Centre, and will continue to work with others, including school groups.

Executive Board councillors were also told of the significant investment needed for repairs and maintenance to make the building operational and safe – over £3 million. In addition, an estimated £71,000 would be needed to replace and refurbish pool plant equipment to remove the current health and safety risks.

Coun Talbot continued:

We appreciate that the closure of Daisyfield Pool has impacted various groups of pool users, and we have already listened to the concerns that have been shared with us as councillors – directly through emails and calls, as well as through our local media and social media.

What we intend to do next is run a formal consultation exercise to gather the views of people who use the pool. This will help us to fully assess the impact of the closure on them, to allow us to make a properly informed decision about the pools’ future.

In advance of the meeting, ward councillors had met with the Strategic Director for Environment & Operations Martin Eden to share the views of pool users living in Bastwell and Daisyfield and to ask for assurances that if the pool closes, priority will be given to relocating swim sessions for residents and the local schools.

The public consultation will run for four weeks from Monday 18 September, to Sunday 15 October. The online survey will be shared across Council communication channels. In addition, computer facilities at Little Harwood Community Centre will be available to anyone who needs help getting online to share their views.

Following the consultation period, a report will be shared with Executive Board later this year.

Read more about the reasons for the decision to close Daisyfield Pools from 19 August 2023.

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