Cross-party group requests rapid re-opening of Bristol's Jubilee Pool

The pool has been closed since March.

A cross-party group of councillors in Bristol has written to the city's mayor Marvin Rees requesting a "rapid re-opening" of a swimming pool in Knowle.

Jubilee Pool has been closed since the start of the coronavirus lockdown in March.

Since then, a public consultation on plans to permanently close the community pool has received widespread criticism, with more than 4,000 people signing a petition to save it.

Bristol City Council said it does not serve a large number of people and will cost too much money to maintain.

Now, a group of 15 councillors, set up in September to explore future options for the building, has written to Marvin Rees demanding an immediate re-opening while its future is decided.

The consultation was extended after thousands signed a petition to save it.

The task force, which includes six Labour councillors, wrote to the mayor on Monday 26 October.

In the joint letter they said: "In the light of the evidence we have heard it is our unanimous decision that we request a rapid re-opening of the pool. This request is based on the fact that the monthly opening costs of Jubilee are very similar to the cost involved in keeping it ready to open.

"We have also been told that re-opening could be achieved by Parkwood within two weeks and that they are enthusiastic to make a progress.

"We further recognise that a continued increase in Covid-19 cases could result in a further closure, but this should not prevent us from preparing to re-open and doing so if it is still allowed."

The councillors said they understand the re-opening would not secure its permanent future beyond March 2022, but said its temporary closure "does not seem reasonable".

Finishing the letter they said, "We will continue our work whilst the pool is re-opened and will be looking at all aspects and options, and will take specific advice from a range of groups and officers."

Bristol City Council is proposing to close Jubilee Pool for a number of reasons, chiefly because nearby Hengrove Leisure centre has more modern facilities and an Olympic size pool.

According to its website, it states at least £260,000 was needed before the coronavirus pandemic to carry out vital repairs - with not many people using it, according to the council, it makes sense to spend the money elsewhere.

The public consultation closes on 8 November.