Sunday 21 April 2024
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Council accused of using ‘holding tactic’ by asking public for ideas over Victoria Embankment Paddling Pool replacement

Nottingham City Council has been accused of only running a consultation on the Victoria Embankment paddling pool as a “holding tactic” after residents said they wanted it restored to its former glory.

The closure of Nottingham’s Victoria Embankment Paddling Pool has been called “short sighted” by residents who say Nottingham City Council should find the money to renovate it despite its financial struggles.

People living nearby in Meadows have used social media to call on the council to make a U-turn on the decision and reopen the famous pool, which has served generations of families since the 1940s.

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© Robin Macey

But the council says it will cost £600,000 to bring the pool back to working standards and is asking families to put forward ideas for what could replace it.

However, the council has stressed it would need to launch a strategy to raise funds externally for whatever it decides to put in its place.

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The council has been selling off land and buildings it no longer requires, generating around £30m so far.

The money is to be pumped into capital projects. However, the Victoria Embankment Paddling Pool has not been earmarked as one of those projects.

Cllr Kirsty Jones (Independent) asked the portfolio holder for highways, transport, and parks Cllr Audra Wynter (Lab) for more clarity at a full council meeting on Monday, July 11.

She asked: “We wait with anticipation for the results of the proposed consultation on the future of the Victoria Embankment paddling pool, but it seems clear that the public opinion is already heavily in favour of returning it to its former glory.

“Can the portfolio holder outline how the council is proposing to afford to replace the paddling pool when it seemingly cannot afford to repair it?

“Is this not just a holding tactic to head off more unflattering headlines of closing facilities?”

Cllr Wynter stressed that the paddling pool was “too costly to maintain” which included keeping the water clean.

She said one idea is a ‘fund-raising campaign.’

“We would like to reopen it but it is not fit to reopen.” she added.

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