MORE than 400 people have backed calls for Shropshire Council to reopen a town swimming pool that has been closed since March.

While other facilities across the county have reopened after both lockdowns, the doors to Whitchurch Swimming Centre have remained closed due to problems making the building Covid-safe and fixing a mystery water leak.

Shropshire Council and Shropshire Community Leisure Trust, which operates the pool, say the layout of the building means social distancing is not possible.

But concerns have been raised that not all options have been explored, and a petition bearing 439 signatures has now been submitted to the council demanding measures be put in place for its reopening.

The petition was started by Liberal Democrat campaigner Nick Saxby, a Whitchurch resident whose two children were taking swimming lessons at the pool before its closure.

He said: “This is a testament to how much support there is in our community for the pool.

“The size of our community’s response means that they will have to listen and take some action.

“We want to see that every option has been explored, and we are demanding that our council is working hard to benefit Whitchurch’s wellbeing.

“I haven’t seen much of any explanation for what options have already been explored for adapting the site, and why nothing could be achieved.”

Under council policy, petitions bearing over 200 signatures are debated by a scrutiny committee with input from relevant senior officers.

Mr Saxby added: “Businesses and public spaces everywhere have been coming up with creative and proactive ways to provide services in line with public health requirements.

“I’ve seen nothing from Shropshire Council to suggest they’ve put real effort into solving these problems.

“Dozens of signatories to our petition have given their own ideas and suggestions for ways in which the pool could be managed.

“In the absence of any detail or action from the council, it’s great to see our community trying to pull together and find solutions.”

Mr Saxby has been told his petition will be presented to the relevant committee in the new year.

He added: “I’m hoping that we can finally get some leadership on this. Just waiting for social distancing measures to end isn’t a plan.”

Speaking at a meeting of Shropshire Council’s cabinet last month, Councillor Lezley Picton, portfolio holder for leisure, said work was ongoing to identify the cause of the leak.

Councillor Picton said once this was fixed, consideration could be given to developing Covid-safe procedures for the building.