Gloucestershire

Wotton-under-Edge poll finds people would pay for pool

Wotton-under-Edge pool
Image caption Voters were asked if they would accept an increase in council tax to keep the pool open

People in a Gloucestershire town have said they would be willing to pay more council tax to save their local swimming pool.

A special poll was held in Wotton-under-Edge after Stroud District Council said it was going to withdraw the facility's funding from next year.

It will cost households about £13 extra on average to raise the £28,000 per year to keep the pool open.

The result was 1,082 votes to save the pool and 102 votes against.

The town's mayor, Councillor John Cordwell, said: "We got a very clear decision, 91.4% of those voting, voted in favour of keeping the pool open.

"The turnout was 26.7%, which was perhaps a little lower than you'd get for a parish council election.

'Very satisfactory'

"Given the limited opening hours for parish polls - only five hours compared with 15 hours for a local election, and the fact that you can't have postal votes which now account for 15% of the electorate in Wotton - I think it's very satisfactory.

"It's now up to the council to decide what to do but I am almost certain they'll agree to the increase in the precept which adds about £13 to a band D council taxpayer.

"Polls have to be used sparingly and it's the first one in Stroud District Council's history so you can see they're not terribly frequent.

"It cost the town council about £500 to actually run it and compared with spending £28,000 a year, it's worth doing."

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