Take a good look at the costs of such an ambitious project
PUBLISHED: 11:54 26 July 2007 | UPDATED: 12:39 04 May 2010
I WAS stimulated to write to a paper for the first time in my life when I read Thursday, July 19 edition of the Ely Standard. Page 2 referred to cash-strapped county council referring to the support, or lack of it, for the Larkfield Day Centre. While on
I WAS stimulated to write to a paper for the first time in my life when I read Thursday, July 19 edition of the Ely Standard. Page 2 referred to 'cash-strapped county council' referring to the support, or lack of it, for the Larkfield Day Centre. While on page 3 there is a proposal for a £10 million new Leisure Centre in East Cambridgeshire
Being a retired plant maintenance engineer, employed by Watford Borough Council in Hertfordshire, I was involved in the building and running of the prestigious Watford Springs Leisure Pools.
It was built in the early 1990's to serve the people of Watford and the adjoining London boroughs, giving it a very large catchment area. The original cost was in the region of £10 million, plus a lot more for alterations and defects.
So I thought the £10 million suggested in your report was a little optimistic for all the facilities listed. Compared with 15 years ago I would suggest around £40 million was more realistic at to-day's prices.
Also I believe Watford ratepayers were short-changed in that the pool's length when completed was just short of Olympic and competition standards which curtailed its use for many events. (That's a design issue)
I hope our county and district councils will look hard at the projected maintenance and running costs of such an ambitious project.
The fuel energy needed will be enormous; swimming pools are not green machines. All this will have to be paid for by the ratepayers and reflected in the admission charges, which in some cases may prohibit its use for many people who need the exercise for which the facility was first intended.
My last comment is that the Watford Springs was built with all the goodwill and optimism that went into the building of the Titanic, but it too has now sunk but under a sea of new housing. The council cut its losses RIP.