A Lack Of Lifeguards Is Threatening The Opening Of An Outdoor Pool In Oxford

An outdoor pool may be forced to postpone its opening date due to a shortage of lifeguards.

Hinksey Pool in Oxford shut at the end of September and was set to re-open at the beginning of April.

Oxford City Council confirmed Fusion Lifestyle, which runs the pool, is "working hard" to keep the opening date.

However, Lee Heard from the Royal Life Saving Society said a lack of lifeguards could cause issues.

The pool, which first opened in 1934, has been closed over the winter period.

Mr Heard said the coronavirus pandemic meant many lifeguards were furloughed during this time and "have found other work".

He added: "It's very challenging for leisure centres at the moment."

Fusion Lifestyle is now offering to cover the cost of the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) for those who take up a role at the pool.

A spokesperson for Oxford City Council said: "The public leisure sector as a whole is facing significant employment difficulties and we are looking to recruit staff to make sure that all our leisure facilities continue to provide the service that our residents require."

The authority added it would be running recruitment days in a bid to attract more staff.

A spokesperson for Fusion Lifestyle confirmed the pool needed "approximately" five lifeguards to open.

They confirmed "significant" work had been carried out on the pool since October, but they still plan to re-open in April.

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