Council bosses are reassuring residents they are working to get an open air pool ready for the summer season.

For the second year running, Abbey Meadow outdoor pool is opening in late July and closing for the season in early September.

Bosses at the Vale of White Horse District Council say it is expensive to run, so it can't open for a longer period this year as they have to be careful with spending.

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But they have pledged to look at ways to keep the pool open for longer in future.

Last month they said staff were getting ready to cut back vegetation at the site, which has grown up around the pool side.

But still nothing has been done, and residents have noticed the pool looking uncared for.

(Image: Andy Ffrench) One resident who walked past last week said she was "shocked to see the state of the outdoor pool", commenting that the weeds were two feet high in places.

She added it was "a shame" that the pool was not yet open as there is now hot weather.

Highs of up to 27C have been forecast in Oxford this week as temperatures across the UK continue to rise.

Victoria Nickless, a spokeswoman for the Vale of White Horse District Council, said work was being carried out to ensure the pool was ready to open on July 20.

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She said: "The council’s leisure provider GLL is cracking on with the all the hard work required to get the pool and the surrounding area ready and raring to go for the summer season.

“There's lots going on behind the scenes, including some retiling in the pool and annual maintenance of the plant room.

(Image: Andy Ffrench) "GLL will begin filling the pool in the next two weeks and grounds maintenance work in the surrounding area will get under way as early as Friday this week - that will include trimming the grass and cutting back any other foliage, along with anything else needed to get the site ship shape and ready to go.

“Everything is on schedule ready for the big public opening on July 20."

The open-air pool was saved from closure in 2006 by a campaign backed by Abingdon Town Council and the Abingdon Herald.

Campaigners again fought to save the pool when it faced closure in 2015 and a petition with more than 2,200 names was handed to council leaders.

It reopened in 2018 following a £1.3m refurbishment.

(Image: Andy Ffrench) It is understood that the GLL (Better) leisure group, which is running the pool for the Vale council, has a contract until 2026.

Hinksey Pool in Oxford opened for the new season in April.

To find out more/book swims from July 20 at the Abbey Meadow pool visit

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

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