elmbridge councuil paddling pools 700 - What No Water? First Tennis Courts Then Paddling Pools...

elmbridge councuil paddling pools 700 - What No Water? First Tennis Courts Then Paddling Pools...

 

 

What No Water?

First Our Tennis Courts then Our Paddling Pools…

Please sign and support the petition that has been started to open the paddling pools this summer:

https://www.change.org/p/cllr-janet-turner-portfolio-holder-leisure-and-culture-tell-elmbridge-council-to-reopen-paddling-pools-this-summer

Just as lockdown came to an end (literally the day before outdoor spaces became available to use again) the Residents Associations & Liberal Democrat coalition who control Elmbridge Borough Council sneaked in the reintroduction of their hated scheme of locking families and residents out of community tennis courts unless you paid over and above your council tax for the privilege.

https://www.elmbridge.gov.uk/sports-and-health/tennis-in-elmbridge/

Back in 2018 nearly 1400 local residents signed a petition against this.

https://www.change.org/p/andy-muddyman-elmbridge-borough-council-make-public-tennis-courts-free-again

They’ve now taken the sealing off of our publicly funded facilities one stage further by announcing that children’s water play facilities in Weybridge (and possibly Hersham, subject to review) will remain shut down through the rest of the year.

This was announced 4 days ago on the 24th with the following statement published in the EBC website

24 May 2021

“The safety and wellbeing of our residents is always our highest priority and especially now during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As we work our way through the Government’s roadmap to the easing of restrictions, we know that hand washing, social distancing and face coverings remain as important as ever. The ‘not before’ dates provided by the Government have implications for the two paddling pools and one splashpad in the borough.

The two paddling pools at Churchfields and Oatlands recreation grounds would ordinarily be open for the 6 weeks of the school summer holidays (late July to September). However, this requires a significant lead in time for maintenance checks, cleaning and the recruitment of staff required to fill, empty the pools and carry out regular testing of the chlorine levels.

With so many factors at play with the Government’s roadmap and with the wellbeing of our residents at the top of our mind, we have had to make a tough decision not to open the two paddling pools this year.

As for the splashpad in Hersham Rec, that requires less work to re-open, allowing us to react more quickly should the Government’s roadmap allow. Deep cleaning and water checks will still be required if it is deemed safe to open over the summer holidays.

We understand this is disappointing for many families and we are very sorry that this difficult decision had to be made. However, we really hope that easing of restrictions will happen in the months ahead and that we can once again meet friends and family and enjoy the many play areas, green spaces and woodlands that Elmbridge has to offer.”

If you want to raise your objection you can contact those in power at Elmbridge Borough Council here:

Portfolio holder at Elmbridge Borough Council is Janet Turner of the Hinchley Wood Residents Association:  jturner@elmbridge.gov.uk

Robert Moran is the Chief Executive of Elmbridge Borough Council and you can contact him directly here: Robert Moran <rmoran@elmbridge.gov.uk>

Councillor Charu Sood, responsible for looking after Churchfields Rec and Oatlands Rec shared this comments in a post on Facebook with a link to a petition for anyone opposing this decision by Elmbridge Council:

“The Resident Association’s and Liberal Democrats who run Elmbridge announce paddling pools to stay closed :

The two paddling pools at Churchfields Rec and Oatlands Rec would ordinarily be open for the 6 weeks of the school summer holidays (Late July to Sept).

However, this requires a significant lead-in time for maintenance checks, cleaning, and staff recruitment to supervise the pools. With so many factors at play with the Government’s roadmap and with the wellbeing of our residents at the top of our mind, we have had to make a tough decision not to open the two paddling pools this year.

Please sign and support the petition that has been started to open the paddling pool this summer:

https://www.change.org/p/cllr-janet-turner-portfolio-holder-leisure-and-culture-tell-elmbridge-council-to-reopen-paddling-pools-this-summer

( Please note: I’m not the decision maker and only sharing decision as conveyed to all EBC councillors by the portfolio holder of leisure services)”

We spoke to Councillor Sood and she had this to say:

“ Paddling pools are part of play grounds and they should be opened, Outdoor sports facilities can open to the public” with effect on 17th May as per govt guidelines.”

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The last time there was level of disgust from families and residents of Elmbridge was when they locked families out of community tennis courts, despite this huge outpouring of opposition they completely ignored it all and carried on so our hopes for a reversal of this awful decision on the boroughs paddling pools remain wafer thin.

We have since heard talk from other Councillors that this decision was made months ago:

Councillor Charu Sood:

“After I launched the petition on behalf of residents across Elmbridge, Cllr Janet Turner (Hinchley Wood Resident’s Association Councillor and Portfolio holder for Leisure on Elmbridge Council) agreed to meet with me and other concerned councillors to explain why and how the decision was taken to keep local paddling pools closed. It became clear that this decision was taken many months ago with no consultation with residents or elected councillors, meaning no preparations have been done for reopening. This means it might be too late to do anything about it.
This is not acceptable to the Conservative group on the Council, and we will continue to campaign to get the paddling pools reopened, even if it’s a bit later than normal.”

And that Janet Turner the Hinchley Wood Residents Association Portfolio holder for leisure was heard to say:

Lewis James Brown:

Was incredible to hear the “residents association” councillor Janet Turner with responsibility for leisure being highly critical of sharing information with residents!! “I won’t bother to share in future.” Unacceptable. Cllrs were right to push back on why there isn’t a “can do” approach to getting them open asap, and to make sure decisions like these taken by officers are flagged clearly to elected Councillors when they’re taken, not months later.

 

Elmbridge Borough Council have since issued the following update:

Update 28 May 2021

“Following a meeting with local Councillors, we have agreed to reassess the processes around the re-opening of the paddling pools in the borough. We cannot promise that this review will lead to the reopening of the paddling pools but we want to ensure we are doing all we can for our residents. Maybe we have got it wrong, maybe not, but we will try again and we will see what, if anything, can be done.

We understand the strength of feeling around this subject both from residents and Councillors and as such we will update you further in the next few weeks.”

For those of us at the forefront of the fight against locking families out of community tennis courts and how futile that was (despite the council and administration humiliated on BBC News) we won’t be holding our breath for a sudden change of mind. 

for Reference:

https://www.elmbridge.gov.uk/sports-and-health/tennis-in-elmbridge/

Back in 2018 nearly 1400 local residents signed a petition against this over.

https://www.change.org/p/andy-muddyman-elmbridge-borough-council-make-public-tennis-courts-free-again

You only have to read some of the comments made on the online petition by local families highlighting the negative impact to their everyday lives to be absolutely certain this was the wrong thing to do.

Link to petition comments

If you want to raise your objection you can contact those in power at Elmbridge Borough Council here:

Portfolio holder at Elmbridge Borough Council is Janet Turner of the Hinchley Wood Residents Association:  jturner@elmbridge.gov.uk

Robert Moran is the Chief Executive of Elmbridge Borough Council and you can contact him directly here: Robert Moran <rmoran@elmbridge.gov.uk>