Outrage over swimming pool closure

Outraged residents have accused Newham Council of planning to shut down a historic Stratford leisure centre.

The main pool at Atherton Leisure Centre in Romford Road has been closed for ceiling repair works since May.

Atherton user John McHale said: “I am outraged.

“I have used the main pool since the ‘70s.”

Mr McHale said that it seemed the council was using “underhand” means to close the Atherton Leisure Centre in order to make way for Olympic venues including the Aquatics Centre, which will open to the public after London 2012.

Similar accusations were levelled at the council last year when it closed the centre’s sauna after disclosing that it could not fund its �300,000 plus repair costs.

A spokesman for Newham Council said: “The main swimming pool at the Atherton Leisure Centre in Romford Road, Stratford, is to remain closed because the works programme to the ceiling is taking longer than expected.

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“Entry to the rest of the building and use of other facilities continue as normal.

“Activities and clubs that use the main pool will continue to switch to the smaller training pool or other leisure facilities across the borough.

“Newham Council thanks users for their continued patience and apologises for any inconvenience the closure has caused.”