Taking the plunge

PUBLISHED: 12:04 12 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:22 06 May 2010

SIR, — As a former chair of Verulam Swimming Club, I was very excited by last Friday s Government announcement of free swimming for all. What a refreshing idea that initially, the over-60s and the under-16s will be able to use the St Albans swimming pools

SIR, - As a former chair of Verulam Swimming Club, I was very excited by last Friday's Government announcement of free swimming for all. What a refreshing idea that initially, the over-60s and the under-16s will be able to use the St Albans swimming pools free of charge and that by the Olympics in 2012, everyone will be able to swim for free.

This should increase considerably the numbers of people using our excellent facilities at Westminster Lodge and Bricket Wood. You know, the state-of-the-art facilities that we currently have and which we have been assured will be replaced by an even better, new, modern and dynamic 21st-century facility. You know, the sort that's just been built by Watford Council in Horseshoe Lane, a pool to be proud of and one that St Albans District Council would have been proud of and which would clearly show its commitment to modern leisure facilities in the local area .

Oh wait a minute, do I mean the pool that was mentioned a couple of years ago in the local newspapers? You know, the run-down, tired-looking building at Westminster Lodge. The one that when built would mean that we can then close the Bricket Wood pool facility and everyone could then use the new St Albans flagship facility at Westminster Lodge for free swimming. What a good idea. Why on earth would we need two swimming pools anyway?

What is happening with the proposed new pool for St Albans? Will this enlightened Government announcement of free swimming focus district councillors' minds and perhaps change their position on pool sizes. Perhaps the Government's announcement is a blessing in disguise. I think not.

This council, I'm afraid, is going to have to get its finger out and start showing us actions rather than words. Give us a deadline for the new pool. Show us that you've considered that free swimming could significantly increase the numbers of pool users and provide us with a timely modern facility that befits St Albans' status as the Mayfair of Monopoly.

Show us that you can compete with our neighbouring council in terms of actions and not just words. By the way Watford Council, well done for your commitment to leisure with your two new swimming pools.

PHIL VAN TROMP,

Pine Grove, Bricket Wood.

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