As the ward Councillor for the Trallwn ward in which Ynysangharad Park lies it is good to see the lido is eventually open and has apparently been well used during the first week. I took a stroll down there Sunday afternoon during a short break in the rain.
The playground was empty - the weather having taken its toll and sent anyone who was not there for the swimming off to find somewhere drier, but at least it gave the opportunity for a good look around. There is certainly a lot more equipment here than there used to be and it is a shame that more of the parks throughout RCT cannot have something similar. One small criticism is that it could maybe have been spread out a bit more - there is after all no lack of space. Instead of trying to cram it all into the space when the paddling pool was ripped up they could have laid it out with a bit more separation between the equipment for each age group. It doesn't take many children - especially smaller ones accompanied by adults - to fill the space.
There were around 50 or so people in the lido area spread over the three pools. It is a good looking facility to be fair and I hope it will bring people into town. The publicity machine has certainly rolled into action and hopefully it will attract visitors from further afield as well as locals. I still, however, stick to the position that I have taken all along - the paddling pool should have been kept as well.
At the moment entry is free to all, but that will not be the case next year and one wonders if it will be so attractive a proposition then. It remains to be seen, but the capacity is nowhere near that of the old lido and paddling pool and, as we have said all along, it does not have the attraction of whole families being able to go along and spend the day there whilst small children run in and out of the pool as often as they wish - for free! Still, things move on and I hope that next year we will firstly get a better summer and secondly see the return of the thousands of people who have flocked to the park in the past,
There have been several comments on social media about the Waterside café. That of course is not being run by the Council but has been let out to private tender. Some people have complained that the café has not been staying open until the publicised time, but they were planning on staying open until 7 when I asked.
Others have said the food is too expensive. It is not cheap but at £2.20 for chips and £1.95 for a pie then it does not appear to be too extortionate for the type of visitor attraction it is supposed to be. Drinks are quite expensive - £2.20 for a bottle of pop, £2.65 for a Hot Chocolate. It is not going to encourage people to use it when there are so many take aways, cafes and indeed a Tesco not too far away. Again time will tell.
The lido's first full season will not be until next year and that is when it will be put to the test and we can see whether or not the £6.3 million investment has been worthwhile.