THE borough council leader says he is interested in finding out more about a plan to create an outdoor leisure centre in Rivacre Valley.
The idea of building an outdoor pool and associated boating and fishing facilities in the beauty-spot is the brainchild of Iraq war veteran Nigel Hunt.
Although he is rapidly gaining public support for the scheme – he collected around 200 more signatures for his petition at Asda on Saturday – he told the Pioneer last week he was sad that councillors had snubbed his calls for backing.
After reading this, borough council chief Cllr Justin Madders contacted us to say: “I am sorry to hear other councillors have not replied to Mr Hunt.
“I am very interested in the idea and would be pleased to meet him to discuss it in more detail.”
There is snowballing support for the scheme, dreamt up by proud Ellesmere Port man Mr Hunt, who served in Iraq with the Territorial Army.
He wants to see the valley used as the location for a modern version of the highly popular Rivacre open-air baths, which were demolished a couple of years ago when a pool was opened at the town-centre EPIC leisure centre.
Now the EPIC itself is crumbling and needs replacement, Mr Hunt reckons there would be no better spot than Rivacre for it.
He said he recently had a productive meeting with borough MP Andrew Miller and he is inviting schoolchildren in the area to let him have their views on what they would like to see in a new centre.
However, only one of the councillors he contacted bothered to reply.
This week Cllr Madders said: “The EPIC will have to be replaced within the next few years and we currently have consultants looking at possible new sites.
“I would therefore be interested to talk to Mr Hunt about his idea.”
He added: “We have set aside £5m towards the cost of a new centre and we will try to get as far as possible with this before the borough council is replaced by the new unitary council next April.
“It is important to consult people in the area about the kind of facilities they would like to see in a new leisure centre.”
Mr Hunt aims to keep the petition running at Asda each weekend until September. He invites anyone wishing to help to collect names there to ring him on 07970 888471.