Issue - meetings

Pre-Decision Scrutiny -

Meeting: 08/05/2024 - Joint Meeting of the Cabinet / Education Skills and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committees (Item 4)

Pre-Decision Scrutiny - Pontardawe Swimming Pool

(report enclosed within Cabinet papers)


Following scrutiny, an amendment was put forward in relation to

recommendation 4. The amended recommendation as set out below was supported to Cabinet Board.


"Grant delegated authority to the Head of Leisure, Tourism, Heritage and Culture in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Nature, Tourism & Wellbeing to commission a feasibility study to investigate options for a future site and potential funding for a replacement facility and to make a commitment when resources allow, that a pool which serves the whole of the upper Swansea, Amman and Llinfell Valleys will be built."


The Head of Legal and Democratic Services advised members they are able to make reference to previous decisions taken providing any questioning was relevant to the report under consideration.


The Director of Education, Leisure and Lifelong Learning gave members a brief overview of the report contained within the Cabinet Agenda pack.


Members commented on the overwhelming strength of feeling in the community regarding the future of the swimming pool. Members asked, given the substantial community usage outlined in the report, how will the closure impact the accessibility of services for residents and what measures have been explored to address safety concerns, whilst ensuring uninterrupted access to swimming facilities for the community.


The Director of Education, Leisure and Lifelong Learning acknowledged that there would be a detrimental impact to user groups associated with the pool; programmes would be re-located to other local leisure facilities in mitigation. The need for a replacement facility is undisputed but currently there is no identified funding available.  A propping scheme is currently in place which has enabled continued public use; this scheme is under constant independent monitoring and inspection but there has been a significant deterioration in the fabric of the pool tank.


Members expressed concern over potentially longer travel times for residents to access alternative facilities and questioned whether any strategies will be considered to mitigate any potential negative impacts on community health and wellbeing, particularly for vulnerable individuals. 


The Director of Education, Leisure and Lifelong Learning advised members that data is held which shows some current users have alternative facilities closer to their homes and it is anticipated these will be utilised. Other potential impacts will be picked up in any replacement facility if appropriate. The feasibility study will identify the optimum location for a replacement pool and available funding options.


Members enquired whether any further detail of possible grant funding or alternative funding sources were available, following the preliminary discussions that had been held with Welsh Government.


The Director of Education, Leisure and Lifelong Learning confirmed that currently all options are being explored but there were a limited number of potential funding bodies; currently no funding has been identified.


The Head of Leisure Tourism, Heritage and Culture confirmed that preliminary discussions had been held with Welsh Government and these centred on possible locations.


Members requested that existing service users in neighbouring authorities be included in any future consultation.


The Director of Education, Leisure and Lifelong Learning confirmed that the feasibility study would look at the facility mix and all user groups would be involved in any future consultation.


Members acknowledged the considerable impact a pool closure will have on the wider community and staff who may be re-deployed. Members enquired whether there will be any assistance for schools in relation to increased transport costs. Members asked, should the recommendations be accepted, the timescale for the feasibility study and whether there will be a full consultation regarding the location and design of any potential future pool.


The Director of Education, Leisure and Lifelong Learning  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4