Purley pool looks set to closed by Croydon council because of £3million refurb costs

By Tara O’Connor, local democracy reporter

Cash-strapped Croydon Council will close down one of the borough’s six leisure centres.

Purley Leisure Centre has been closed since the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020.

When it didn’t open with the rest of the borough’s swimming pools campaigners feared the worst.

Now the council looks set to close the centre permanently.

It claims that there is a £3 million repair bill for the centre in Purley High Street.

Shadow cabinet member for culture and regeneration Councillor Jeet Bains said: “This is a very poor decision from Labour and smacks of bitterness and reacting to the referendum result because they didn’t get the result they wanted.

“There seems to be no regard for the people of the area.

“Like a lot of these leisure centres it is a bit of a hub for the community then there is the physical and mental health aspect of it.”

Councillor Oliver Lewis, Croydon Council’s cabinet member for culture and regeneration, said: “In recent years Purley Leisure Centre’s considerable running costs have been propped up by money from the borough’s other centres.

“Now Purley Leisure Centre faces a £3m repair bill, and we can’t afford or justify this cost to our taxpayers while we have modern alternatives down the road in Waddon and New Addington.”

Earlier this year, children from St Aidan’s School in Coulsdon campaigned against the expected closure.

The school uses the swimming pool which is a 15 to 20 minute journey but now face taking two buses and around a 40 minute journey to Waddon Leisure Centre.

A public consultation on the proposal to close the pool was set to today (Monday, October 11) and will be open until November 22.

The council’s cabinet is set to vote on a recommendation not to reopen the leisure centre on October 18.

Pictured: Purley Leisure Centre PIC: Brett Oliver

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