With other parties opting to dispose of the valuable resource – a decision which is subjected to the outcome of an ongoing judicial review – Alliance called for accurate costings in line with renovating the centre to be provided before further action is taken.
The Alliance Party’s proposal was defeated by 47 votes to 10, meaning that if it goes ahead the move will leave East Belfast with only one Council-run swimming pool – a decision that will also affect much of South Belfast.
Councillor Michael Long said: “Simply put, only Alliance is dedicated to providing adequate leisure services for local people, with the move to demolish endorsed by all others set to have dire impact on local people.
“Not only will it leave East Belfast without a Council-run swimming pool, but would also make is almost impossible for elite swimmers to train adequately in Belfast.
“Alliance obviously supports the need to address the issue of asbestos and legionella and this should be done, but we believe that the projected costs and timescales could be much reduced and enable provision to be restored within a reasonable period, allowing ratepayers to have an additional use out of the centre until a replacement is provided.
“In 2003, Alliance led the battle to keep the Centre open when its closure was proposed before and it looks like we will again have to take a lead in trying to maintain the centre again. Everyone else seems to have given up on providing for local people.”