RESIDENTS who experience the massive health benefits of a local swimming pool are ‘disgusted’ at the potential for a future without a pool in Chard, saying the council should be ‘ashamed’ of itself.

Hannah Williams runs aquafit sessions at the Cresta Swimming Pool.

She said: “I went to the meeting in the Guildhall a few weeks ago about the plans for the regeneration of Chard.

“Absolutely no plans had been drawn up for this so-called new swimming pool.

“Even if they ever do materialize they said that nothing would happen for at least five years.

“Where are the residents of chard and surrounding villages meant to swim in the meantime?

“In Chard we are treated as second class citizens, we have no public facilities left. Whoever decided to close Cresta should be totally ashamed of themself.

“They need to come to the pool and meet all the inspirational people that use it.”

One of those people is Sally Gilpin.

She said: “I have been using this swimming pool since its inception. My own children used it as members of Chard Swimming Club and I have, as a teacher in a local school, accompanied many children there to learn to swim.

“Since retirement from work, I have attended three aquafit sessions weekly.

“The exercises have been extremely beneficial in assisting a swift and good recovery after three major surgical operations in the last five years. The hospital surgeons have confirmed these benefits.”

Alan Slater has also used Cresta for rehabilitation.

He said: “The pool has been a key factor in my recovery from complex hip replacement surgery.

“This was advised by my doctor as swimming is a good and safe exercise to rehabilitate my leg/hip due to the weight supporting effects of the water.

“This is also true for many operations. Deprivation of this facility will prolong recovery for many and not achieve a good outcome for some.”

Jace Medland was diagnosed with cancer in her spine and pelvis in 2011, and said: “Aquafit has helped me enormously. The therapist at Taunton hospice where I have regular treatment has commented “it’s like a different back now”.