Not so popular?

PUBLISHED: 12:19 08 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:30 06 May 2010

SIR — I was interested to read your article Sports centre gets public thumbs up quoting the Liberal Democrat Cabinet report that the second option in the redevelopment proposals for Westminster Lodge was overwhelmingly supported by the public (Herts A

SIR - I was interested to read your article 'Sports centre gets public thumbs up' quoting the Liberal Democrat Cabinet report that the second option in the redevelopment proposals for Westminster Lodge was 'overwhelmingly supported by the public' (Herts Advertiser, October 1).

In fact only 600 of the thousands of people who live in St Albans City and District responded to the consultation - which took place for three short weeks over the recent summer holiday period.

Of these respondents approximately 400 indicated that they liked the mix of facilities in option two while about 200 did not.

The question should be why so few residents responded to the consultation - the timescale might be an issue or maybe people are simply not interested or perhaps they do not think that their opinions will make much difference.

The proposals involve the loss of diving facilities - but this apparently is not a problem for the Liberal Democrat Cabinet as such facilities are available in Hemel Hempstead and Hatfield.

They also involve the loss of the popular flumes and a much reduced main pool.

What is also highly significant is the diversion of some £6million from housing to leisure services plus further substantial borrowing and the proposed 'land banking' and subsequent sale for private residential development of the depot behind the present centre, which is in the Green Belt.

Residents should also know that the sports centre will be relocated to the front of Verulamium Park so that it will be easily visible from Holywell Hill with the loss of open green space.

It's difficult to accept the statement that the results of the consultation indicate an 'overwhelming' validation of all of this.

ROMA MILLS

Labour Parliamentary Candidate and Group Leader

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