We must get it right

SIR – No one denies we will need a new swimming pool. Those of us who use Westminster Lodge are acquainted with its problems and accept it is coming to the end of its useful life after nearly 30 years. We would do well to remember though that the previous

SIR - No one denies we will need a new swimming pool. Those of us who use Westminster Lodge are acquainted with its problems and accept it is coming to the end of its useful life after nearly 30 years.

We would do well to remember though that the previous pool with all its increasing imperfections had to serve us for public swimming for nearly 70 years.

Please Cllr Burton, step back from the political arena to realise that our concerns are to ensure St Albans builds first and foremost a swimming pool that is deep enough, big enough and with facilities such as diving boards. If not, inevitably in 25 years time, people will proclaim, it is too small and too shallow.

Cllr Burton should ask herself why stage two of the Westminster Lodge building plan was never built. Then as now there is a limited amount of money available. Of course we would like all the other leisure facilities she puts forward in her letter.


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Encouraging plans to 'have it all now' at the expense of building a SWIMMING facility to cater for the needs of young to old, groups to individuals, learners to aspiring competitors for 50 or more years is, I think, going to lead to disappointment.

Ask the people of St Albans and district to choose how best to spend the available monies and not between two very similar plans for a leisure complex. What happened to 'cutting your coat according to your cloth'?

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To use an ugly modern word - prioritise to ensure we build swimming facilities large enough to meet the increasing demand of all for a long time and then we might get to build all the rest before starting all over again!

I don't think it is sadness people feel about the closure of the 'old centre' rather they are appreciative of how lucky we are having such a facility, on the principle of 'a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush'.

Spend some money on the old bird whilst we plan on the best way to lure the two out of the bush!

Ask yourselves what is the rush to push ahead with these proposed plans and register objections when they are put forward (soon) for planning approval. We need to get this right and I believe we can get much better value for money than from the current proposals.

MARGARET STONE

Orchard Street, St Albans

SIR - Maths does not seem the strong suite of this LibDem SADC administration particular on Westminster Lodge.

A councillor's recent question was why cannot it be bigger to suit the popular high demand particularly since other pools are being closed. Their answer was that it is considerably bigger than the old being eight lanes of the 25m new pool compared to the old six lanes of 33m. Sadly from simple multiplication that is 200 compared to 198, i.e. an increase of one per cent.

This is a bit like their building the whole new very similar size centre for almost twice the cost of regenerating the existing sound base structure. They use a design team from well outside the district whilst laying off local staff including youth support and planning officers, selling local housing for the vulnerable plus lumbering our future generation with millions of pounds of debt.

Perhaps the un-proportional representative single party LibDem cabinet of eight should listen more to the other 50 councillors and residents on this and other matters.

MIKE WAKELY

Opposition Councillor

Oakfield Road, Harpenden

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