Thursday, 8 Dec 2022

Fury erupts as Sunak builds HUGE swimming pool as his local public one faces closure

Rishi Sunak grilled on Tunbridge Wells comments by Robinson

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The Prime Minister hopeful, who is the richest MP in Parliament and reportedly spend £13,000 per year heating the sizeable new pool.

It comes after recent figures revealed more than 60 public swimming pools have closed in the last three years.

The closures have been caused by a “perfect storm” of staffing problems, rising energy costs and shortages of key chemicals like chlorine.

Meanwhile, the former Chancellor’s local constituency public pool in Richmond, North Yorkshire, has faced a 400 percent energy hike, resulting in eye-watering gas and electricity costs.

Last month, Austin Gordon, general manager at Richmond Pool told The Mirror: “It is ironic Rishi has just built a pool for himself, while his constituents face losing theirs.

“Our current energy deal finishes at the end of September, so we are trying to work out what we are going to do.”

Greg Whyte, a former British Olympian and board member at leisure industry body UKactive said the pool closures represent a “health and welfare disaster”.

His comments come after Swim England warned that as many as 2,000 public and private pools could be lost by the end of 2030.

Huw Edwards, UKactive chief executive, added: “Leisure centres provide 66 percent of our cancer prehab and rehab services, which clearly shows that lives are at stake if they close.

“Our members have laid out the evidence to the government, which now has a duty to support the survival of our gyms, pools and leisure centres.”

His warning echoes those similar to former British Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies.

She said: “It’s the Government’s job to say ‘we need to have these leisure facilities within a reasonable distance of a conurbation or major city'”.

She added: “Our swimming pools are disappearing and it is a really big issue.

“I’m talking about public pools, private pools, local authority pools, and private pools that are loaned out”.

She highlighted how important exercise from swimming is for tackling obesity, mental health issues and other health problems.

On Tuesday, Mr Sunak appeared in Darlington for a hustings event where he came up against his opponent Liz Truss.

At the event, there was little mention of the cost of living crisis or rising energy bills despite his previous pledges to tackle the issues if he becomes the next Prime Minister.

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