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Petition launched to ‘save Tinwald Pool’

Petition launched to ‘save Tinwald Pool’

She saved the town’s water fountain and now has her sights set on saving the Tinwald Pool.

Christina Cox was shocked to learn the council’s decision not to open the Tinwald Pool this summer and launched a campaign to gather community support to ensure it’s only a temporary measure.

“I couldn’t believe they were even thinking about it.”

When the council had planned to relocate the town centre water fountain in 2019, Cox started a petition to help halt the plan.

Now she has started a similar campaign for the pool.

“I’d love it to be saved.”

Members of the community feel the same with her online petition already closing in on 500 signatures.

Cox used to be on a Tinwald pool committee when her children were younger, spending plenty of time poolside and has started taking her grandchildren to the pool.

The domain has had recent upgrades adding in a basketball court and now plans for a disc golf course, but is taking away the pool, she said.

“It doesn’t make sense.”

The pool has a series of problems that has caused the council the close it for the summer, but they are solvable problems, Cox said.

“I don’t know about the solution but considering it’s the only outdoor pool in town that’s open to the public, they should be coming up with solutions.”

It’s leaking 17,000 litres a day from unknown locations and the ageing treatment equipment that is close to failing requires a significant and costly rebuild.

The pool had a $66,000 loss in the 2021/22 season which had its highest patronage.

The pool had limited operating hours last summer due to a staffing shortage, with a lack of lifeguards also impacting the hours at EA Networks Centre pools.

The combination of issues caused the councillors to make the difficult decision to close the pool this summer and will consider the options for the pool, including an estimated $3m rebuild, in the long-term plan.

In the meantime, Cox hopes the pool gets enough community support to convince the council the pool needs to be retained.

The closure means that Ashburton will be without an outdoor pool this summer unless the council strikes up a deal with Hampstead School.

Otherwise, the option is the EA Networks Centre’s pools or a drive out of town to one of the other district pools at Hinds, Mayfield, Ruapuna, Mt Somers, Rakaia, or the non-Council pools like in Methven.

By Jonathan Leask