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Officials agreed temporary closure of Newry swimming pool without telling councillors

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council officials previously signed off on an eight week closure to allow for repairs

Plans to close Newry swimming pool for repairs are expected to be presented to council before Easter following a controversial management led decision.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council (NMDDC) officials had previously signed off on an eight week closure in October 2022 without debate in chambers.

Outraged councillors swiftly moved to force a u-turn on the decision after they said they had been informed of the Christmas time closure by members of the public rather than local authority management.

Active and healthy committee chairperson, Hugh Gallagher (SDLP) said: “I have spoken with officials this week and they assure me that they are working with the maintenance team to develop a new strategy for repairs.

“I have been told that officials expect a plan for the remedial work and inspection of loose tiles on the pool floor will be presented before the council in a matter of weeks.

“The new proposal will look to minimise any closure of the swimming pool at Newry Leisure Centre whilst work is being carried out.”

The local democracy service asked the council for a time-frame on the works and if paying members of Newry Leisure Centre would receive discounts on fees during the pool closure.

A NMDDC spokesperson replied: “The council continues to work with the original project team and contractors to determine a programme for closure of the swimming pool, prioritising minimal disruption to service users.

“A future report to the council will be tabled to seek approval for closure arrangements once further detail is known.”

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