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24 January 2014, 14:13 | Updated: 24 January 2014, 14:19
Stroud District Council has approved its spending plans for the year ahead. They include investment of £1.4million to transform Dursley Swimming Pool into a fully-fledged leisure centre with new gym facilities and a dance studio allowing it to provide a comprehensive range of sport and fitness activities throughout the week.
Councillor Geoff Wheeler, leader of Stroud District Council, and a former Dursley mayor said:
“Dursley Pool has an excellent reputation and is valued greatly by the community. Aside from its successful swimming programme, there is also a huge demand for activities such as exercise and dance classes and a gym. As part of our commitment to the health and wellbeing of our population this will be a big step which will continue to deliver long term benefits. Currently we can only provide these activities in the evenings and at weekends, at another site nearby, but this investment will allow us to provide a comprehensive range of activities throughout the daytime.”
Additionally, £50,000 has been put aside to help vulnerable groups mitigate against the recent adverse economic climate and two substantial energy saving projects costing £300,000 to produce combined heat and power generation at Dursley Pool and at Stratford Park Leisure Centre in Stroud were approved. Councillor Wheeler added:
“These would help the council reduce the large energy costs associated with heating swimming pools.”
£42,000 has also been earmarked for smaller energy saving projects in council buildings such as more efficient lighting and cavity wall insulation. Councillor Wheeler said:
“Energy prices are only going to rise. These investments will help us to keep our costs down and take pressure off our finances so that we can maintain the services we provide to council tax payers.”
£250,000 has also been put aside for possible land purchases. These will allow the council to buy land to help with housing and job creation opportunities. £100,000 has also been approved for a lift in the council offices, a project which has mooted for a number of years, to allow improved access for the public.
The council has also frozen its proportion of the residents’ council tax bills for the fourth year in a row. Councillor Wheeler added:
“Against a backdrop of higher living costs and low wage increases, freezing council tax will make a small contribution towards easing the pressure on household budgets.”