Afan Lido task and finish group expected to announce recommendations by the end of this month
THE future of Port Talbot's long-awaited new Afan Lido should finally become clear by the end of this month.
It's now been more than three years since a devastating fire left Aberavon Beach without its biggest indoor attraction.
A "task and finish" group of councillors was set up last year to make recommendations on its replacement after Neath Port Talbot failed to reach agreement with campaigners over critical details for the replacement.
One was the location, with Neath Port Talbot wanting the new Lido built on neighbouring Hollywood Park, while residents demanded it should go up on its original site.
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Another was the size of the pool, with the council proposing six lanes but campaigners insisting on eight.
Since September the task and finish group has been hearing evidence from campaigners, local groups, council officers and experts on different issues.
Originally the group was expected to bring recommendations forward by the end of October, though that was not set in stone.
That was later revised, and those recommendations were then expected before Christmas.
Now, though, the group is finally getting ready to finish the task. Chairman Anthony Taylor said: "We are almost there.
"We are looking at the budget again to make sure that our recommendations are on a sound financial basis.
"There should be a meeting next week where we will agree our recommendations, then another to agree the wording of our report, which will go into more detail.
"We are hoping that by the end of January at the latest we will be ready to go."
Once the recommendations are finalised they will go before a cabinet scrutiny for discussion, then to cabinet for decision.
Mr Taylor said: "It has taken some time to get to this stage but we want to make sure that we are making what we think are the correct recommendations.
"Time is getting on. It's important we get it right, so we needed to ensure we had all the necessary information."