Warning closure of problem-hit Blackburn swimming pool would leave kids with 'no place to go' – Lancs Live

The closure of Daisyfield Pools followed the discovery of harmful Legionella bacteria in its systems and an inspection by council officers
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The continued closure of Blackburn’s Daisyfield Pools will leave the town’s children without anywhere to swim its operator has warned.
HalfFISH has operated the complex since 2016 and now faces losing its deal to do so. A report to Blackburn with Darwen Council’s executive board on Thursday recommends ending the arrangement following the shutting of the pools on health and safety grounds last month.
The closure followed the discovery of harmful Legionella bacteria in its systems and an inspection by council officers which ‘highlighted numerous issues with the condition of the building and the operation of the centre’.
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A report to Thursday’s meeting by the authority’s health a leisure boss Cllr Damian Talbot says: “The health and safety risks were serious and if they had gone unchecked, they could have led to serious injury or fatality.”
They included multiple cracked or missing tiles in the pool area along with numerous leaks in the roof. Tests also found ‘pools were inadequately disinfected’ and there was an ‘unacceptably low levels of chlorine in the pools which should have prompted swimming to be suspended’.
It estimates it would cost the council £71,000 to refurbish the pool plant and more than £3.1million in wider building repairs to ‘keep the facility operational for the short term only’. Cllr Talbot’s report recommends the executive board to approve the continuation of the swimming venue closure pending the outcome of a consultation on its future use and terminating the existing arrangements with HALFFish at the site.
Shelley Whitehead from HalfFISH, who intends to attend the meeting, said: “We currently can’t add anything to the report that are being made apart from sharing some of the stories of our children who cannot now swim, our competitive rookies who are training for lifesaving regionals without a pool, and our parents now telling us there are no spaces at other local providers and the waiting list is more than 12 months.
“This is impacting all of our swimmers, but especially the children with special needs and learning disabilities which seem to be excluded from most other provision due to the complex support they need – something that we have met and provided these children with in the pool without asking for additional finances from parents.”
Cllr Talbot’s report says: “The continuation and longer-term closure of the Daisyfield swimming pool will impact existing users.
“However, this can be accommodated at Blackburn Leisure Centre which is based near the town centre and has modern swimming pool facilities and access to low-cost refresh swimming sessions.”

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