PEOPLE have reacted with anger and frustration to news that an outdoor swimming pool in Abingdon will remain shut despite changes in Government measures.

The popular Abbey Meadow lido has become one of the latest casualties of the Covid-19 crisis as Vale of White Horse District Council, which owns the facility, revealed that reopening poses a 'significant financial challenge' at the moment.

While people in Chipping Norton, Wallingford and Banbury have enjoyed the scorching heat over the last few weeks by the pool, many in Abingdon have been campaigning to see the pool back to its former glory.

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One local, Naomi Richardson, took matters into her own hands and launched a petition earlier this week calling on the district council to reopen the 'essential public asset'.

She said: "We say no to Abingdon becoming a ghost town dormitory to Oxford.

"The pool brings tens of thousands of people into the town centre every summer, supporting local businesses and the wider economy.

"Open the pool now – it is not a dispensable, last on the list, afterthought – it is an essential public asset."

In just under three days, Ms Richardson's petition has been signed by more than 1,300 people.

However, a spokesperson for Vale of White Horse District Council revealed that GLL (Greenwich Leisure Limited), the contractors running the facilities, have struggled with costs during the pandemic as all their services were closed.

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They added: "To keep it running, even in the best of summers it has to be heavily subsidised, which is a significant financial challenge for our leisure contractor GLL.

"This summer it is especially hard given the losses GLL has faced from not being able to open its centres due to the pandemic and the restrictions reducing the pools capacity to a maximum of 35 swimmers.

"However, we are doing everything in our power to make sure this is a temporary situation including making GLL a financial offer to support them through this difficult period.

"GLL is considering this offer, but in the meantime keeping the facilities it has to subsidise closed."