Liberal Democrat and Green party town councillors for Kenilworth have issued statements of disappointment in wake of the apparent scrapping of any plan for an outdoor pool at the Abbey Fields Swimming Pool.
Warwick District Council released its latest report yesterday (Tuesday August 13), which detailed the plans for the modernisation and updating of the Abbey Fields Swimming Pool facility. The plans also included details on the scheme to demolish and rebuild the Castle Farm Recreation Centre.
Officials with the district council spoke with the Kenilworth Weekly News about the report, which included how it would not include a new outdoor swimming pool as requested by the Kenilworth Lido Campaign Group and other local residents.
Instead the plan calls for a second indoor pool with several sets of bi-fold doors opening up onto a sun terrace over looking the lake at Abbey Fields.
For details on the report as published by the KWN.
The statement from the Green party said while the district council's latest plan to exclude an outdoor pool was disappointing for some, but not surprising.
Cllr John Dearing, leader of the Kenilworth Green party said: “The decision to remove the outdoor pool was made by the previous district administration and the new executive is clear that this still remains the way forward.
We have relayed these views back to the Restore Kenilworth Lido campaign group. At meetings with officers we have raised the idea of ‘compromise’ pool arrangements, such as an in-out pool, and incorporating a children’s outdoor paddling pool, but these have not been included.
We have suggested the district offers open air swimming somewhere in the area and are pleased to see that a report to this effect will be brought to next week’s executive meeting. We have also pushed for climate-compliant building standards and designs for both Abbey Fields and Castle Farm developments based on the district’s net zero carbon targets and are pleased to see that heat pumps and photovoltaic panels are being seriously considered as options in the latest plans.”
The Liberal Democrat councillors for the Kenilworth Town Council also issued a statement Tuesday showing their dismay in the latest leisure centre plan.
Cllr Kate Dickson, the leader of the Lib Dem group on the Kenilworth Town Council, said: “We’re absolutely gutted that the district council is continuing with its plans that have been so widely criticised. Given how much the issue was discussed on the doorstep in the local elections in May and the subsequent result it’s disappointing that it feels that some councillors aren’t listening.”
The group's statement said: Despite months of campaigning by local residents the District Council is proposing to continue with its plans to close the outdoor pool in Abbey Fields bringing to an end 123 years of outdoor swimming in Kenilworth and Warwick District.
“We presented lots of alternatives to the council including asking them to properly consider the tourism and commercial benefits that an outdoor pool could bring to the district and the potential for social prescribing. To continue with the old policy seems blinkered and undemocratic. Surely we can do better than this?
“We will continue to fight for a consultation, which includes a new Lido as an option, for as long as possible.”