Our paddling pools could have remained open at the cost of £2 to swim
Over 2 years ago the then Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council Chief Executive Steve Merritt, wrote a report for the elected cabinet recommending that every child or adult using any of the 12 paddling pools throughout Rhondda Cynon Taf should be charged £2.
This was just one recommendation of 5 in total that Merritt made to the cabinet, the others were:
- Bring all paddling pools up to the minimum safe standard.
- Introduce charging for the use of the paddling pools – e.g. a charge of £2 per user.
- Close all paddling pools
- Closure programme determined by condition surveys (keeping open only those not requiring essential investment).
- Targeted closure of Paddling Pools in the vicinity of Leisure Centres
Reading Appendix 5A of the report provides an analysis of the consideration of each option and the reasons for not progressing with each.
Labour controlled RCT Council decided to close all 12 paddling pools.
- Abercynon - CLOSED
- Aberdare - CLOSED
- Brynifor - CLOSED
- Cwmaman - CLOSED
- Ynysybwl - CLOSED
- Lee Gardens - CLOSED
- Gelligaled - CLOSED
- Maerdy - CLOSED
- Pentre - CLOSED
- Treorchy - CLOSED
- Treherbert - CLOSED
- Wattstown - CLOSED
Prior to this report from Steve Merritt and just before the last Local Government election Labour published their 2012 manifesto, in which they promised:
“We will also ensure that the existing paddling pool facility is protected.”
What was the Labour party referring to? The paddling pool in Ponty park perhaps, because it was clearly none of the 12 throughout Rhondda Cynon Taff, that’s for sure.
Let's not forget RCT Labour Pre-election promises count for absolutely nothing! Why? They closed their flagship paddling pool in Pontypridd and demolish it.
Let’s sum up.
Rhondda Cynon Taf say if they charged £2 per user all 12 of the paddling pools would have remained open, yet when Rhondda Cynon Taf Council opened the refurbished Lido, how much did they charge per user?
The Labour-controlled council decided the best way to get people voting for them was to provide FREE Swimming. Not exclusively for us, the council taxpayers of Rhondda Cynon Taf, but free for anyone even outside of RCT who wanted to use the lido.
We have reviewed a number of Lido’s across the country all of whom charge between £3 - £7 per adult, which taking RCT’s figures of 16,500 swimmers for their opening 3 weeks this would have made £49,500, just in those first 3 weeks.
RCT Labour kept saying “we are short of money”, they cut our basic public services needed by everyone, yet provided free swimming in Ponty lido for everyone.