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Campaigners push for final ruling on Afan Lido development in Port Talbot

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 08, 2012

By Paul Lewis

Robbie Phillips

Robbie Phillips

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CAMPAIGNERS are pushing for a final decision on Port Talbot's Afan Lido following the devastating fire there three years ago this month.

And it seems the long wait could soon be over as the "task and finish" group of councillors set up to make recommendations on the Lido's replacement is expected to put forward its proposals this side of Christmas.

The group was set up after Neath Port Talbot Council and campaigners failed to reach agreement with campaigners over crucial details for the replacement.

One was the location, with Neath Port Talbot wanting the new Lido built on neighbouring Hollywood Park, while residents demanded it should go up on its original site.

Another was the size of the pool, with the council proposing six lanes but campaigners insisting on eight.

Leading campaigner Robbie Phillips said: "It has been three years since the fire (December 16, 2009) and we are very frustrated with the delay in rebuilding it.

"For three years our children have missed out on swimming. Schools have been bussing them to Neath but the children are only having ten minutes in the pool.

"There must come a point when they have to make decisions. We still believe the proposals we have put forward are the correct way forward."

Mr Phillips said the campaigners had concerns about the leasing arrangements for the Hollywood Park site, and questioned the validity of some of the information and costs that had been presented to the task and finish group.

"We would ask councillors to listen to us, and listen to the 10,000 people who signed our petition in just two weeks.

Task and finish group chairman Anthony Taylor said it was a very important issue and members had been determined to get it right.

"We have taken extensive evidence from officers and others, including members of the campaign group.

"We have requested clarity on certain financial information," he added.

"I would hope we will be in a position to finalise our proposals before Christmas.

"These will be published in the new year and will then go to scrutiny and to cabinet for consideration."

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  • Neathboy234  |  December 09 2012, 12:54PM

    Ive been following these campaigners with some interest. To be honest with all the comings and going, people leaving this group right left and center, it amazes me that they have achieved anything at all.

    Rate   4
  • P5256  |  December 09 2012, 12:37PM

    Regardless of where the pool is built, will the people who hope to use it, cover its running costs, and repay its loans or will the tax payers have to support it? How long before it becomes a white elephant and is abandoned.

    Rate   8
  • antyall  |  December 08 2012, 4:43PM

    I cant believe that three years have gone by so quickly, it does not seem that long ago we had some one posting updates as it was happening.Time flies.

    Rate   1