£2million cash boost hope for new Lido plan
LEISURE chiefs could have an extra £2 million to spend on the new Afan Lido.
But, on the other hand, if the council does not go ahead with two controversial proposals there could be £3 million less in the kitty.
Until now the figure for the replacement leisure and sports development has been £13.6 million.
However, the "task and finish" group of councillors, set up to review the scheme after parts of it proved hugely unpopular, heard yesterday that some financial juggling could see that figure rise to just over £15 million.
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And if, as seems likely, the centre is not ready to open until at least March 2014, then there will be another £500,000 because of management cost savings.
Protesters are up in arms about the council's plan to rebuild the Lido not on its original site, but on Hollywood Park.
However, council finance director Derek Davies said the sale of the original site would generate around £2 million towards the replacement complex.
Veteran Sandfields councillor Collin Crowley said: "I'm against selling it."
He described the seafront as the jewel in the authority's crown, adding: "I'm not looking to sell that land off for housing.
"That's £2 million you should take out immediately."
Another controversial proposal involves either closing or transferring Sandfields Library, the Dalton Road and Aberavon community centres and the Seaway Parade Youth Centre to the new Lido.
That would provide the council with £1.2 million towards the total budget.
Mr Crowley was against this too. "I'm totally opposed to closing facilities when there is massive unemployment in the east and west Sandfields wards," he said.
"We should be building them, not knocking them down to finance other projects."
But neither issue will be for the task and finish group to decide, as it only has the power to make recommendations to council.
Before then it will hold a series of meetings with officers and stakeholders, some in public and others behind closed doors.
Yesterday's was the first to be held in public and around half a dozen residents turned up to listen to proceedings.
Chairman Anthony Taylor invited them to write to him with any questions they had.