3,000 march to save under-threat baths

A huge army of protestors took to the streets of Kirkham to fight to save their swimming pool.

Up to 3,000 chanting campaigners marched through the town on Saturday morning waving banners in a bid to save the pool on Station Road.

Members of Fylde Council will meet on Monday on discuss the future of the facility, which is under threat of closure for the second time in 18 months, as they bid to plug a 1m black hole in its budget.

Kirkham councillor Liz Oades, leader of the Labour opposition group on the authority, said the turn-out would put "tremendous pressure" on civic leaders.

She said: "We want them to see that the people of rural Fylde love their baths and we think the council should look again at trying to improve these facilities – not destroy them.

"We would like them to provide new services and make improvements to attract members of the public back to the baths."

Parish councillor Elaine Silverwood, founder of the town's chamber of trade, said she feared there was "an ulterior motive" behind the decision not to invest in the pool.

She said the turnout would "really rattle" the council's Conservative administration.

The council argues the pool must close because not enough people are using them with leader Coun John Coombes insisting fewer people were now using the pool when it was last under threat of closure.

Children led the protest march from the town's market square up Poulton Street and onto Station Road as far as the Wesham cenotaph before returning to the square.

They were met with waves from shops and homes they passed and motorists honked their support as they passed the crowds.

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