Haslingden swimming pool rejected by Rossendale Council

A campaigner for a new swimming pool in a Lancashire town said the council's decision to allocate funding to a shopping centre development instead was a "betrayal".

Over 8,000 people had signed a petition supporting a new pool in Haslingden.

Rossendale Council voted to spend £2.5m on the redevelopment of neighbouring Rawtenstall's Valley Shopping Centre.

Council leader Alyson Barnes said the authority had chosen the option with "greatest impact" for the area.

'Positive impact'

Michael Kershaw, a Haslingden resident who had been campaigning for the pool, said: "The money was found, it was within budget and there was a case put forward by national independent consultants.

"I think the overall feeling of people in Haslingden is one of betrayal."

The council had previously said the pool as well as a gym and five-a-side pitches at Marl Pits would be built, despite funding cuts.

Alyson Barnes, Labour minority leader of Rossendale Council, said: "We've been working with the owners of the Valley Centre site for seven years.

"Sometimes you've just got to do what you think is going to have the greatest impact.

"It's my view that this will directly or indirectly have a positive impact on everybody who lives in Rossendale."

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