Decision details

Decision details

Decarbonisation Funding - Hinksey Pool

Decision Maker: Head of Corporate Strategy

Decision status: Recommendations approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


Salix Finance offered £1.6m funding for decarbonisation work at Hinksey Pool under the first funding round of Public Sector Decarbonisation Funding.


To progress with installation of a pool cover at Hinksey Outdoor Heated Pool – to be delivered as part of the decarbonisation works programme being managed by Willmott Dixon and provide safety/security mitigation through:

o   Higher security fencing in an area where there have been regular incursions

o   Signage externally and in the pool area highlighting risks

Provision of flood lighting

Reasons for the decision:

Addition of a pool cover will provide additional carbon reductions and energy running cost savings at Hinksey outdoor heated pool – as it prevents heat loss from the pool water to the atmosphere overnight. It is estimated that with correct operation of the pool covers savings of c£30k per year and annual carbon emission reduction of c66tCO2 could be achieved. It is proposed to fully fund the supply and installation of the pool cover using the Council’s Salix Recycling loan fund and incorporate the works within Willmott Dixon’s schedule of works under the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme programme. Some of the savings made from the pool cover will be used to refund the costs for the pool cover via annual loan repayments back into the Salix recycling fund (ca75%) with the remainder of the savings from the utilities budget covering any additional staff running costs required via Fusion and annual maintenance/repair costs for the pool covers.

Heating an outdoor pool without the use of a pool cover will lead to significant losses of heat overnight therefore leading to increased energy consumption and the associated carbon emissions. It is a wasteful mode of operation of the facility and not in line with the Council’s stated aims on becoming zero carbon by 2030.

Whilst there are security/safety concerns from the installation and use of pool covers at the outdoor pools – weighing up the overall benefits and introducing reasonably practical additional measures has led to decision to proceed with the installation. The addition of the pool covers will add extra time and tasks to Fusion’s existing opening and close down routine. It is estimated by the suppliers to take approximately 30minutes to roll the covers out and a shorter/faster time to roll them in. Work at Dusk/dawn may require additional lighting to maintain existing opening hours at certain times of the year (more likely during April and September) – and this is being factored into the installation. Discussion with Fusion on the current management arrangement will be required to agree operational impacts/costs and agreement around the maintenance and repair regime required to ensure long-term operation of the pool covers to achieve the estimated savings. The savings from the utility payments will be used to fund repair and maintenance costs. The additional mitigation measures can be covered either within the Salix recycling fund or from the new Zero carbon transition fund. The nursery manager - occupying part of the Hinksey Pool building - has welcomed the proposal to improve the lower wooden fencing at the boundary of the pool and nursery play area – as that is a route through which access is gained overnight to the pool.

Alternative options considered:

The alternative would be not to install the pool covers, and not to take the carbon and financial savings this can deliver. (See above Purpose and Reasons sections above why the decision is being taken to install the pool covers.) This was rejected as it is not consistent with the Council’s strategy to decarbonise its assets and increase its operating efficiency.

Signed off by senior officers:

Mish Tullar, Head of Corporate Strategy

Publication date: 06/01/2022

Date of decision: 01/12/2021

Accompanying Documents: