Written Answers. - Swimming Pools Report.

Noel Treacy


89 Mr. N. Treacy asked the Minister for the Environment the action, if any, he proposes to take in relation to the recent report on swimming pools by the Consumers Association of Ireland; if he will spend the necessary £15 million in order to upgrade existing swimming pools; the amount of money allocated for maintenance of swimming pools in 1997; the amount of capital money allocated for swimming pool development in 1997; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9314/97]

The day-to-day operation of their swimming pools is a matter for individual local authorities. The authorities can also make by-laws for the regulation of swimming pools, whether in their own or private ownership, in relation to matters such as the provision of life-guards and safety equipment, hygiene, etc.

My Department has requested and received from the Consumers' Association of Ireland a copy of the report referred to. The report states, in summary, that overall, the standard of safety at the pools inspected was quite good. Nevertheless, I will carefully study the report and consider what action I might take in the matter.

Total expenditure by local authorities on swimming pools, from their own resources, is estimated to have been almost £8 million in 1996. My Department has a capital allocation of £3.5 million for 1997 out of which grants may be made for the provision of new pools and the refurbishment of existing pools. This represents a significant increase on the 1996 provision of £2 million. It has never been the practice to make grants towards the maintenance of swimming pools.