Fresh argument over Worthing’s £18m swimming pool

A FRESH spat over the funding of Worthing’s new £18million swimming pool has arisen between the council’s Lib Dem group and the Conservative administration.

The Lib Dems say they are “outraged at Worthing residents being kept in the dark over funding of the new pool”, following a meeting of a key committee.

But Tory council leader Paul Yallop has refuted the claim, saying the “Lib Dems wish to be nothing more than a protest party”.

Lib Dem group leader Alan Rice said the report to the committee, regarding the pool funding arrangements, was available only to councillors.

“We have long entertained fears over the very fragile funding arrangements for replacing the Aquarena which were last agreed in March this year, but Tories have assured us time and time again the new pool was fully funded – so why the need for a new report?” he said.

Mr Yallop said: “The council has to comply with the law.

“The report in question was moved to the confidential section of the meeting on the advice of the council’s head of legal services.

“Whilst negotiations for the sale of the current pool site are ongoing, it is not in taxpayers’ interests for the bids to be put in the public domain.”

Council spokeswoman Wendy Knight told the Herald consideration of the confidential report on the sale of the Aquarena was deferred until November 15, “as members were seeking detailed clarification on a number of points in the report”.

For more comments from Mr Yallop and Mr Rice, see this week’s Worthing Herald (Thursday, November 3) out now.