‘It doesn’t make sense’ - Lido director’s confusion at lockdown rules as pool shuts
- Credit: Archant
The director of a popular outdoor swimming pool has said it has been ‘cast aside’ after being forced to close again for lockdown.
However, this didn’t stop Beccles Lido closing with a bang on Wednesday, November 4, with an impressive firework display to mark the occasion.
Despite a plea to government from Conservative Waveney MP Peter Aldous to try and ensure outdoor pools stay open, they have been ordered to close.
Shaun Crowley, director of Beccles Lido, said he is disappointed government have not listened.
He said: “Peter takes a keen interest in issues around the Waveney area. During the first lockdown he was also supportive and it resulted in somewhat of a U-turn from the government allowing outdoor pools to open before indoor pools.
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“As an outdoor pool, we have been operating at 15% of pre-Covid capacity since re-opening at the end of July and even operating at half Swim England recommended Covid-safe capacity, so it’s hugely disappointing that we have been forced to close again.”
Mr Crowley feels that the government are ignoring the benefits of outdoor swimming.
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Mr Crowley said: “We are not top of the government priority list despite the physical and mental benefits of cold-water swimming.
“We’ve received some support from government, but Oliver Dowden’s package of £100million nationally for gyms, pools and leisure centres is only for pools runs by councils.
“Bungay pool has received £3.4million support but has only just opened. We were open most of the summer, providing people and clubs with a place to swim, it doesn’t make sense.”
Mr Crowley added: “We’ve been cast aside and outdoor swimming pools should be allowed to stay open.
“Our lifeguards are on zero-hour contracts so we have no idea whether we can furlough them.
“We are determined to open on either December 2 or December 3 because it is still unclear what actual date we are allowed to open on.
“I hope it is just for four weeks and we are first to reopen.”
On social media the lido has urged people to sign a petition to allow open-air swimming pools, lidos and lakes to remain open in the second lockdown which is here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/555079