Council leader: "A great Christmas present"
The swimming pool at Morden Park is set to be re-built at a cost of up to £11m.
The existing pool, next to Morden Park House in London Road, has been beset with problems and there have been repeated closures for maintenance work.
Merton Council has set aside up to £11m for the project. Previous investigations in 2011 had shown the cost of a re-build to be between £14m and £19m. But council leader Stephen Alambritis believes it can now be delivered for less.
He said: "We want the new pool at Morden Park to be part of a family leisure centre, where people of all ages can got to splash around and keep fit.
"We can only do this because we have been business-like and disciplined with Merton's finances. Previous plans were out of control and depended on private money that wasn't there. This is a great Christmas present for the borough's swimmers."
The announcement came as Merton's Tory Councillors submitted a motion for debate at the full council meeting on November 20 calling for the replacement of the pool with a new facility.
Their motion states: "This Council believes that building a new Morden Park Pool will encourage and help deliver a healthier future both for local residents and visitors to Morden Park."
Cllr Samantha George, Conservative Spokesman for Leisure and Culture said:
“We’ve heard these ‘announcements’ before from Labour. They claimed to support the building of a new Morden Park Pool when in opposition but after three and a half years of a Labour-run council the plans are no further forward.
“What we and the residents of Morden want is action. That’s why we are forcing a debate on this at Full Council next week. Conservatives allocated £11million for a new leisure centre in Morden back in March 2010 so the money is there and always has been. Why then won’t Labour commit to a timetable for work to start rather than delaying year after year?
“It is curious that just 24 hours after publication of a Conservative motion calling for immediate action on Morden Park Pool, Labour councillors suddenly issue a press release saying they’re now going to look at rebuilding it. The reality is they’ve been forced into this by the Conservative campaign, having wasted three and a half years doing absolutely nothing. There must be an election coming up!”
November 13, 2013