Sunday 28 May 2023
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Nottingham

Cost of Living Crisis: Swimming pool temperatures turned down in Nottingham

Soaring inflation and energy bills have prompted Nottingham City Council to reduce the temperature of public swimming pools to try to save money.

The move from the authority has led to complaints from users who now say the pools are “too cold”.

It comes as the council looks to produce a balanced budget to prevent further intervention from the Government.

While it does not yet know the overall impact on its budgets for next year, inflation could add around £15m to its financial planning in 2023/24.

The vast majority of this sum is from a planned 10 per cent pay rise for council staff, which is set to cost the authority an extra £6.9m, so wages fall in line with inflation.

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“I think there is a huge element of the budget which is inflation-based,” Cllr David Mellen, the leader of the council, who represents the Dales ward, said during a scrutiny committee meeting on November 9.

“Fuel costs are having a varying effect so clearly when we do things like running swimming pools we have slightly changed the temperature of the pools,” he added.

“We have received people saying ‘it’s too cold in your pools’, so you know there is a balance there because you still want people to use your facilities but we don’t want to heat things more than we need to.”

Nottingham City Council currently has until the end of November to meet 67 new requirements from its Government-appointed improvement board.

These come after the council narrowly avoided the intervention of the commissioners, in favour of tighter controls for the improvement board, which is chaired by Sir Tony Redmond.

Cllr Mellen says so far the council has managed to knock these requirements down to 31.

Sir Tony will then write a report on the success of the extra work, which includes putting in plans to improve its inadequate-rated children’s services.

The progres will then be examined by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

The department will then formally review the council’s situation in the new year.

•  Cost of Living Crisis: People living in absolute despair in parts of Nottingham

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