RCT Councillors meet on Thursday 19th September to vote on the final plans for the Pontypridd Lido, which includes the removal of the paddling pool from Ynysangharad War Memorial Park.
Local Welsh Liberal Democrats who have long campaigned for the retention of the paddling pool say it is likely to be little more than a rubber stamping exercise as they 'sign the death certificate' for the much loved and much used visitor attraction.
Campaign Manager Karen Roberts says
"The Labour Council have made it perfectly clear all along that they have no intention of backing down and honouring their pre-election promise to retain the paddling pool despite substantial public opposition.
"Outline planning permission was granted in July last year, this latest application is purely a tidying up exercise that alters a few minor details. It is hugely unlikely that Labour Councillors will break rank and speak up against the current plans at this late stage, despite the fact that some of them represent wards where their residents obviously want to keep the paddling pool."
The planning application which is in two parts as listed building consent is also needed, makes no mention of the removal of the paddling pool - that only becomes obvious when the footprint plans are viewed and the new Lido is clearly seen encroaching on the paddling pool area.
RCT Council maintain that it is not financially viable to keep the two facilities alongside each other, this despite the fact that they run a paddling pool alongside a leisure centre in Abercynon.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor Mike Powell in whose ward the Park sits was the only Councillor to vote against the original plans last July. He agrees that the decision is in effect already made, but that it should not stop the public continuing to make their feelings clear to those responsible.
"I am appalled by the way this has been handled all along. Many people were taken in by the promises before the election that the paddling pool would stay and were unaware of the decision made after the election, despite our best efforts to spread the word.
"The planning application is worded in such a way that it is not obvious what the intention is, Officers bemoan the loss of trees in the Park which have to be cut down to make room for the development, but there is not a single word regretting the loss of this facility.
"It is maybe not surprising that there is not a single comment from either the Labour dominated Pontypridd Town Council or the Park Trustees who are all Labour Cabinet Members. It seems they are all following their leader as usual and in doing so neglecting to represent the views of the people who elected them."
The planning application can be viewed here under 'applications recommended for approval.'