The apparent scrapping of any plan for an outdoor pool at the Abbey Fields Swimming Pool and leisure centre has left the Kenilworth Lido Campaign Group and the Liberal Democrat town councillors disappointed.
Warwick District Council released its latest report this morning (Tuesday August 13), which detailed the plans for the modernisation and updating of the Abbey Fields Swimming Pool facility. The plans also included details on the scheme to demolish and rebuild a new the Castle Farm Recreation Centre.
Officials with the district council spoke with the Kenilworth Weekly News about the report, which included how it would not include a new outdoor swimming pool as requested by the Kenilworth Lido Campaign Group.
Details of the report were published by the KWN here.
Instead the plan calls for a second indoor pool with several sets of bi-fold doors opening up onto a sun terrace over looking the lake at Abbey Fields.
The Kenilworth Lido Campaign Group issued the following statement about the plan: “The Kenilworth Lido Campaign Group is most concerned that it was not given the opportunity to fully engage with Warwick District Council about its revised proposal for Abbey Fields until it was made public earlier today, despite the promises made following the recent election for more openness and transparency in local government.
“Group members are surprised and deeply disappointed to discover that the proposal does not include any provision whatsoever for outdoor swimming on the current site.
“Over the coming days the campaign group will fully assimilate the finer details of the proposal and intends to have some input at next week’s council meetings when it comes under the scrutiny of various internal committees ahead of a final decision.
“It is hoped that those councillors of various political groups who pledged their support for the retention of outdoor swimming in Kenilworth during the election will now look very closely at the latest proposal to ensure all avenues are fully explored, make their voices heard and that public opinion is fully represented at the meetings.”
The latest plan for Abbey Fields will be reviewed by district council's executive committee next week.
The Liberal Democrat Councillors for the Kenilworth Town Council also issued a statement Tuesday showing their dismay in the latest leisure centre plan.
Cllr Kate Dickson, the leader of the Lib Dem group on the Kenilworth Town Council, said: “We’re absolutely gutted that the district council is continuing with its plans that have been so widely criticised. Given how much the issue was discussed on the doorstep in the local elections in May and the subsequent result it’s disappointing that it feels that some councillors aren’t listening.”
The group's statement said: Despite months of campaigning by local residents the District Council is proposing to continue with its plans to close the outdoor pool in Abbey Fields bringing to an end 123 years of outdoor swimming in Kenilworth and Warwick District.
“We presented lots of alternatives to the council including asking them to properly consider the tourism and commercial benefits that an outdoor pool could bring to the district and the potential for social prescribing. To continue with the old policy seems blinkered and undemocratic. Surely we can do better than this?
“We will continue to fight for a consultation, which includes a new Lido as an option, for as long as possible.”