POOL campaigners grabbed a bucket and sponge and washed the windows of the council office in a call for the authority to 'be more transparent'.

Residents have fought against the closure of Arthur Hill Pool and are now pleading with Reading Borough Council to reveal who has purchased the land.

Although a buyer has been found for the site, the council is yet to reveal the name of the successful bidder, which has caused unrest among the lobby.

Arthur Hill closed in December 2016 after the authority said it had become too costly to maintain.

Peter Burt of the Arthur Hill Campaign said: “The decision to sell Arthur Hill Pool was made six months ago and this has been more than enough time to tie up the contractual loose ends which Reading Borough Council claims is necessary before details of the sale can be made public.

“Our enquiries about the sale and the buyer of the pool have been met with a wholly unreasonable and unnecessary wall of secrecy and bureaucracy.

“We think this is wrong. At best this kind of secrecy shows a crass disregard for the views of the local community, who have every right to know who has bought their swimming pool, and at the worst it is bad practice which allows corruption, incompetence, and a lack of public accountability to flourish. 

“Operation Transparency aims to force Reading Borough Council to release details about the sale of Arthur Hill Swimming Pool whether they like it or not, and we will not be giving up until we have obtained this information.”

The council is currently running a consultation on the future of Palmer Park, which runs until February 22.

Residents are being urged to submit their views on a range of leisure options, including the provision of a new pool and improvements to the park.

Councillor Tony Page, deputy leader of the council, said: “This is an important community consultation which will help shape the future of what is a historic and valued community park and provide guidance on how modern new swimming facilities will be integrated into Palmer Park."

While the council is keen to look to the future, campaigners have issued a warning to the authority that they are not finished.

Mr Burt added: “We want to make it very clear to the council that the Arthur Hill Campaign has not faded away and forgotten this important issue.

"We intend to remain a thorn in the council's side until either Arthur Hill Pool is reopened, or a new pool is built to serve East Reading.”

A council spokesman said: "As is common practice with the majority of property transactions, details regarding the sale of a council property and the preferred bidder will remain confidential until detailed terms for the sale have been agreed, in some cases when the contract has been exchanged or when the transaction is completed, unless the parties wish to agree otherwise."