Tyldesley pool first to sign up to council budget deal

Lord Peter Smith and Trevor Barton outside the Pelican Centre

Lord Peter Smith and Trevor Barton outside the Pelican Centre

First published in North West

A COMMUNITY swimming pool in Tyldesley could be used as a model of success to help save services across the borough.

The former Tyldesley Baths was taken over in April 2012 by a group of residents when funding cuts forced the council to find an outside body to run it. Since then the renamed Pelican Centre, in Castle Street, has gone from strength to strength.

Now the project is being used as an example of the kind of community work Wigan Council wants to encourage through its Wigan Deal - an informal contract with the public to help it adapt to government cuts.

Trevor Barton, chairman of the Pelican Group, said: "Nobody wanted to see the pool close so we sought an imaginative solution and it has been better than we ever expected.

"It has taken a lot of hard work but we think we have turned this into a real success story and there is no reason why this model can't be used to save services elsewhere.

"We have to accept that given the council's difficult financial settlement from the Government there are things that it will no longer be able to do. It makes sense, therefore, for community volunteers to do it for themselves where they can."

Councillors approved a freeze on council tax at a full council meeting on Wednesday as part of the Wigan Deal.

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