At last night’s meeting of Kettering Council’s Research & Development Committee it was agreed to set up a working party to look in more detail of the whole issue of a new swimming pool.

The Committee were presented with a report from officers highlighting the financial cost of conducting a full feasibility study and there were undoubtedly some that were hoping the committee would kick the whole idea into touch as simply being unaffordable.

However, before making any recommendation to the Council’s ruling Executive Committee, I proposed that as the issue was so important, we should spend more time looking into the detail before coming to a final decision.

My proposal was seconded by independent Councillor Michael Brown, and after a long debate it was agreed to set up a working party with Councillors carrying out an inspection of the current pool and visiting other new pools that have been successfully built by other local councils, as well as gathering evidence  from people in the industry that have experience of building pools, as well of course as listening to local users and other stakeholders.

I see this as a good opportunity for the Scrutiny Committee to carry out a serious investigation of the proposal and if at the end of that work we wish to recommend the Council undertakes a formal feasibility study, that decision will at least be based on genuine evidence and serious consideration.

There is still a long way to go if Kettering is to get a new pool but hopefully at least further discussions will be based on the facts as well as independent advice. For too long Kettering has played second fiddle to some of our neighbours and I hope the eventual outcome of all of this will be to get local residents the sort of top class facility they deserve.

Photo by Dushan and Miae