A PADDLING pool in Kidderminster will be unable to reopen this year after the town council was told "at the last minute" that maintenance work would not go ahead as planned.

Conservative members on Kidderminster Town Council say they have been "let down" by Wyre Forest District Council after works scheduled to take place at St George's Park outdoor pool to make it safe to reopen this month were not carried out.

Cllr David Ross, leader of the town Conservative Group, said: “The Progressive Alliance-led district council contacted Kidderminster Town Council to inform us, at the last minute, that it is unable to carry out the necessary work on the pool to make it safe to open.

"Families have endured staying in for months, many with no access to gardens or an outdoor space.

"Wyre Forest District Council needs to urgently rethink its decision so this pool can open.”

Broadwaters resident Dale Preece-Kelly said: “This is a well-used facility and following lockdown the opening of the pool has been eagerly anticipated by parents. This is a bitter blow for local families."

In January, Conservative town councillors moved a motion to close St George's pool as they said no group had come forwards to take over its management.

The motion was amended to give the council until April to find a new owner, and a petition was launched by Labour town and district councillor Sarah Rook to keep the pool open.

During a meeting in March, councillors from all political groups voted for funds to be made available for Wyre Forest District Council to carry out maintenance works on the pool.

But just as the government gave outdoor swimming pools the green light to reopen from July 11, Kidderminster Town Council was told the district council could no longer carry out the work.

The Conservative Group says the pool will now be unable to reopen until next year and are campaigning for the district council to review the decision.

However, Wyre Forest Labour said the Conservative Group’s campaign was “a bit rich” as it was their motion in January that moved to close the pool down.

Cllr Rook said: “It was a Conservative Localism project arising from their austerity cuts that got it removed from the district council budget, and it was the Conservative group on the town council who then wanted the town council to stop funding it.

“You have to wonder whether they have any genuine concern for much loved local amenities like this if they think it’s okay to use it as a prop in their political games.”

A spokesman for Wyre Forest District Council said: “We did extend an offer to Kidderminster Town Council to commission the paddling pool in St George’s if they intended to reopen it.”