Lodge latest

PUBLISHED: 11:03 17 December 2009 | UPDATED: 14:47 06 May 2010

SIR – So our dictatorial councillors have once again used their majority to approve the grossly inadequate replacement swimming pool at Westminster Lodge. As with the St Peter s Street traffic enhancement scheme, they have chosen to misinterpret stati

SIR - So our dictatorial councillors have once again used their majority to approve the grossly inadequate replacement swimming pool at Westminster Lodge.

As with the St Peter's Street traffic enhancement scheme, they have chosen to misinterpret statistics to suit their cause. Daily we see the permanent traffic jams brought about by their previous misjudgment and it seems we are now to reap another harvest of ill-considered forethought. Will they never learn?

I wonder if any of the councillors have ever used the existing facilities at Westminster Lodge? I was a member for a few months about a year ago - during that time I never once saw the 32 exercise machines totally occupied so it could be wishful thinking that an increase to 200 will produce the revenue anticipated. Yet another case of getting their sums wrong?

No doubt City of St Albans Swimming Club will be pleased to get their mini-pool of 25 metres to meet the requirements of their 80 or so members but since they have exclusive facilities for only two hours a week it is a hard sacrifice for the hundreds of the rest of the population to have to pay.

In his letter of November 12, Keith Winfield was dismissive of my childhood experiences of the inadequacy of 25-metre pools. In pointing out that, the constraints then existing have not changed and at busy times such was the overcrowding that swimming was quite impossible. I had hoped that my experiences might be useful and I share the views of no less a sage than Confucius who said: "Study the past, if you would divine the future".

Cllr Burton is quoted (Herts Advertiser, November 12) as saying "the flumes weren't well used and I think it is fair to say that they have gone out of fashion". How fatuous. The reason for them not being used is that they are only available for 90 minutes on Saturdays and Sundays.

No doubt she also feels that diving too has gone out of fashion and so is doing away with the sub-standard diving facilities only months after Tom Daley became world high-board champion.

So what are we left with? A bog standard standard swimming pool grossly inadequate to cope with the needs of the public. A learner pool which I applaud. 200 excercise stations which I suggest are a gross over provision and oh yes, the absolutely essential café and restaurant which, if the existing café is a guide, might need to have a council subsidy to make it viable.

But no squash court, no bowling alley, no cycle track (round the athletic track), no skating rinks (ice or roller). In all not very much at all and certainly not a "first class job" which an earlier correspondent suggested had been done by Cllr Burton and her team.

I would be much happier if they could show some evidence of having carried out a comprehensive due-diligence study and, whilst not questioning the ability of the designers, I wonder if they were in a serious open competition with others in their field?

PHILIP WEBSTER

Townsend Drive, St Albans


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