Maintenance issues pull plug on pool

WATERED DOWN: Swimming instructor Heather Wood at the CCS Disability Action North Taranaki heated pool.
WATERED DOWN: Swimming instructor Heather Wood at the CCS Disability Action North Taranaki heated pool.

Disability and rehabilitation services will take a hit when a New Plymouth heated pool complex closes at the end of the year.

Up to 150 children of all ages use the CCS Disability Action North Taranaki heated pool complex across three days a week each school term.

In December, the Vivian St pool will close following a series of maintenance issues and meetings over the last year.

The pool does not make enough money to cover the costs of the ongoing maintenance it needs.

Swimming instructor and pool user Heather Wood said the writing had been on the wall for a while, but the decision was still a massive blow.

"People will miss it particularly for its rehabilitative reasons because the temperature there is considerably higher than any other pool," she said.

"Lots of people use it for physio after accidents and things, as well as the children learning swim safety and taking lessons."

In August last year the pool shut for a few weeks to address condensation issues and other costly repairs and maintenance.

CCS Disability Action regional manager Lorraine Mamea-Hind said the governance committee met in June and made the unanimous decision to close the pool.

"The decision was also made that should further work on the pool complex be required prior [to December], the branch may be required to revisit this decision and close the pool at an earlier date," she said.

Since August the committee has tried unsuccessfully to find ways to keep the pool open.

"We have met with the New Plymouth District Council to discuss the pool complex and the challenges that we face and we have made a submission to the council's long-term plan," she said.

"We have investigated a number of potential solutions but to little avail."

Ms Mamea-Hind said the closure had been a difficult decision to make and hoped it wouldn't stop people from supporting work with the disabled community.

For many users it would be a case of finding an alternative pool and Mrs Wood said she was already looking for a new facility.

"About half of the children we teach swimming and water safety to are disabled but a lot integrate with the other children for lessons," she said.

"It's not a knock back for me personally but it is for the users, but I'm already looking for alternatives."

Taranaki Daily News