Friday, December 11, 2015

A new paddling pool? - Consultation coming in the New Year

At the meeting of the newly constituted Nairn River Community Council in the URC hall on Wednesday night Highland Councillor Liz MacDonald gave the members (old and new) a briefing on the paddling pool situation. Starting by making reference to the recent vandalism she said:

“I was looking back there was vandalism in February 2014 and there was similar, coping stones were knocked off. I think the way to take forward the paddling pool is to totally take that one out and build a new one.” She also added that: “The coping stones being taken off have identified that some of the walls are crumbling.” 

There was then some conversation about safety issues concerning the coping stones themselves before Liz added more:

“The original proposal was to whip out the base and put in a new base in the existing structure but there’s no guarantee that it would seal properly and then we found out that the walls aren’t good so we might as well whip it all out and put in a new one.”

Tommy Hogg said that he agreed that the base was the problem.

David Walker then said: “Would it not be an idea to put in something that could be multi-purpose that could be used throughout the year because that place is only open two months maybe.”

Liz replied: “that is what the debate has been - if there’s going to be a significant financial investment in a paddling pool."

Liz had more a little later she added: “Prior to it opening in the summer, £4,000 was spent to make it waterproof, now that didn’t work and it leaked all summer and that meant adding a lot more additional chemicals into it. That was a temporary repair. The other repairs coming forward, they weren’t going to be guaranteed either because of the finishing of the walls around it. So I think it has had it’s day and I think if we’re going to have a paddling pool we’re going to have to take out that one and put in a brand new paddling pool, let the community know how much it’s going to cost, they’ll be figures coming forward in the New Year. “

Des Scholes then said: “There was mention of consultation Liz and you have a small time frame before you get back to the summer again; to have consultation and maybe even planning permission and then to put a new one in it looks like there may not be a paddling pool this summer?”

Liz replied, “Exactly.” She went on to say that she didn’t think we could realistically have a new paddling pool built by the summer but that the good thing about the paddling pool was that the pump room and the equipment was in excellent condition. 

There then followed discussion about the need for a life guard or an attendant. This took in the size of the pool, interpretation of legislation, the need for a net over the pool and the Blue Flag award.

Drawing debate on the issue to a close, the Chair, John Hume said: "I think we have to wait and see what the Council's new options are going to be. Is there going to be consultation Liz? That's going to be in January?"

Liz replied that there would be consultation in the New Year. 


Anonymous said...

This is in reference to the new paddling pool post.
Anyhow, I was in the Cotswolds earlier this year in a town called Evesham. They had a lovely little park, and next to it was a little water park for kids with spray fountains etc that were activated by pressure pads, it was a lot of fun. Would this be a viable suggestion to replace the paddling pool? it could be used on many more days throughout the year. The link is here and it is photo number 2, click on the arrow.

Brian Turner said...

"Liz had more a little later she added: “Prior to it opening in the summer, £4,000 was spent to make it waterproof, now that didn’t work and it leaked all summer"

I sincerely hope the HC got their money back from the contractor. If the HC can't, then there's something wrong with the conditions of contract and the HC needs to do better.

Ivor the imaginary reporter said...

As Liz said and has been reported from other meetings no contractor will guarantee repairs to the pool given the condition and recurring fault. There is Highland Council involvement but this is basically a Common Good Fund affair - although the trustees of the Common Good Fund are the 80 Highland councillros.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why the Council don't just contract everything out to some of the folk who turn ever so regularly.

Anonymous said...

Well isn't it fortunate that the vandalism occurred and highlighted further problems with the structure!?... Here's a prediction, fancy plans are rolled out in January for consultation, it is quickly established the old pool is beyond repair and will be levelled until new plans are finalised. New plans are unaffordable in the current financial climate and will be shelved pending future review if and when funds allow. Paddling pool becomes a nostalgic memory.

JCB said...

Hope this doesn't go the way of the big slide with a JCB in action one morning and citizens and councillors trying to find out what is going on.

Graisg said...

@anon7.23 It might not need planning permission anon :-)

John Urquhart said...

I have asked 2 councillors about the CCTV footage on the vandalism. Councillor Green informed me he was responsible for putting the cameras in position in the first place but as yet no information as to what they recorded. I hope when Liz comes back to the Riverside Council she will come up with options that have been costed. I am disappointed in development so far.

Anonymous said...

Highland councillors really like wasting the public's money with these consultations don't they.

Graisg said...

Well we have to see what form the consultation takes anon. It might involve the hiring of a public space such as a room in the community centre and an ad in the paper but otherwise Councillors and officials have to be paid anyway and would have to fit that meeting in
They could of course start with the Save Nairn Paddling Pool facebook group and ask individuals to be there or submit comments digitally.

Graisg said...

Good point about CCTV John.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how long before someone tells us that the CCTV at the links is neither monitored, recorded or available for examination ?