Page last updated at 23:05 GMT, Friday, 28 August 2009 00:05 UK

Pool protesters face legal action

Protesters at pool
Sedgemoor Splash is due to close on Sunday

Protesters campaigning against the permanent closure of a swimming pool in Bridgwater have been threatened with legal action to remove them.

About 30 people carrying banners and wearing swimming costumes staged a sit-in at Sedgemoor Splash pool to fight for a last-minute reprieve.

The district council's acting chief executive, Bob Brown, offered a seven-day postponement, which was rejected.

The council will seek an injunction to remove the 13 remaining protesters.

Sedgemoor District Council said that in order to bring the 18-year-old facility up to scratch it would need to spend about £4m for an extra five to seven years of use, on top of the £700,000 annual running costs.

Splash will be demolished after closure and Tesco is the sole bidder for the site.

'Determined to stay'

The Sedgemoor Splash Pool Users Group served a "pre-action protocol for judicial review" on the council on Thursday claiming there were constitutional and legal failings in the decision-making process that led to the closure agreement.

The group said it would not leave until the council agreed to postpone the closure of the pool, due on Sunday, until the outcome of a review.

Local Labour councillor Brian Smedley, spokesman for the group, said: "A few of them are determined to stay until our demands are met, so they will be there through the night."

One of the protesters, 57-year-old postman Dave Chapple, said: "Our council decided to ignore the views of 90% of people and close our swimming pool.

"This is an occupation until such time the council backs off."

Claire Faun, for the council, said the decision to close the pool had been taken democratically.

"The remaining protesters have been asked to leave and have refused to go," she said.

"They have been served with letters to say that if they do not vacate the building, the council will seek an injunction to gain their removal."

She said the council wanted to open the pool on Saturday morning but could not do so until the protest ended.

The proceeds of the sale will be used to fund a new swimming pool in Chilton Trinity Technology College, which will open in three years.



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SEE ALSO
Protesters stage sit-in at pool
28 Aug 09 |  Somerset
Pool to be shut by end of month
12 Aug 09 |  Somerset
Funds run dry for Sedgemoor Splash
09 Jul 09 |  People and Places

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