A date has been confirmed for a public meeting over the future of Friary Grange Leisure Centre.
Lichfield District Council will host the session 7th October after deferring a final decision which was due to be taken earlier this week.
Public pressure and an online petition forced a delay to the process and the local authority has now outlined a timeframe for the new consultation process.
Cllr Doug Pullen, leader of Lichfield District Council, said: “This date is slightly later than we initially hoped, but we wanted to make sure we have had time to gather all the relevant information and work with our partners to explore different options, over the busy summer holiday period.
“On that note, I am really looking forward to meeting with Staffordshire County Council and The Friary School this afternoon (18th July), and want to thank Cllr Phillip White, Cllr Alan White and Matt Allman, the Head of The Friary School, for agreeing to meet with us so quickly.
“At the meeting we look forward to exploring a number of options with the school and county council again – ranging from whether the school and county are prepared to let us continue to manage all elements of the leisure centre, including the synthetic turf pitch, which together help to support the provision of the swimming pool.
“We will also be asking the county council if they are willing to contribute towards the urgent, immediate repairs and whether the county is willing to reach an agreement on sharing ongoing maintenance costs through a new joint arrangement, so the centre can remain open in the short-term.”
“The weight of public feeling”
Cllr Pullen said he hoped all parties could reach a resolution.
“Ultimately, while there are other issues at play, including the academisation of the school, the future of the leisure centre comes down to the way in which public money can best be used to benefit the school and wider community,” he said.
“Given the weight of public feeling and love for the centre and pool, I am hopeful that together we will be able reflect on this, and find a way to enable the doors to the centre to remain open to all.
“I will also be asking the school and the county council to attend our public meeting in October to discuss the petition, and I look forward to them joining us.”