We need to "think big" over swimming pool, says former Worcester City Council leader

Worcester News: Councillor Robert Rowden Councillor Robert Rowden

A FORMER leader of Worcester City Council has urged the authority to “get it right” over a new swimming pool - insisting we must “think big”.

Councillor Robert Rowden, who led the council for two years back in 2000, said the city cannot afford to get the new pool wrong at Perdiswell.

As your Worcester News revealed last month, the Labour administration is shelving ambitions for an eight-lane, £13.5m pool because of concerns over leaving taxpayers with a 40-year bill.

It is still intent on getting a new facility, but is now aiming for a six-lane pool which is likely to cost around £10.7m.

Councillor Rowden said: “It’s very important we get this thing right - this is a growing city with a growing university and we need to think big, not small.

“It’s like a young man with a motorbike, and his wife has triplets, and tells him ‘you better go and get a car’.

“He then goes away and comes back saying ‘I’ve got a lovely little car’, but it’s a two-seater.

“I hope we are thinking big about this.”

He also said the council should consider approaching other possible funders again, like the University of Worcester, to see if they can contribute to the costs.

Both the university and Worcester College of Technology have both been approached in recent months, but no funds have been forthcoming.

His comments, made during a full council meeting, led to the current leader, Labour Councillor Adrian Gregson, saying work is continuing.

“We will continue to be open to offers from the university, although so far they have said no,” he said.

“We are still exploring all our options.”

The Labour leadership wants to reduce the costs by securing what it calls “enabling development” on the site, most likely a supermarket.

The council is trying to get £2m from Sport England to help fund a new pool, but despite interest from one mystery supermarket, is yet to secure a deal for the land next to it.

But a six-lane option has been criticised by Worcester Swimming Club, which says the current Sansome Walk swimming pool is the same size.

Under the proposals, if a new pool gets built the Sansome Walk facility would be demolished and the land sold off.

The current sports centre at Perdiswell will also be closed and knocked down.

Comments (8)

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1:50pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Jabbadad says...

These sad councillors need to stop using this proposed swimming pool as a political football.
When we read of other pools being built for considerably less doesen't this say that as normal our planners / councillors do not know how to get BEST VALUE for we tax payers? However won't this result in more consultants fees again?
These sad councillors need to stop using this proposed swimming pool as a political football. When we read of other pools being built for considerably less doesen't this say that as normal our planners / councillors do not know how to get BEST VALUE for we tax payers? However won't this result in more consultants fees again? Jabbadad

2:11pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Handcart says...

Pools built for less sounds good - where are you thinking of, Jabbadad?
Pools built for less sounds good - where are you thinking of, Jabbadad? Handcart

11:13am Thu 5 Dec 13

PrivateSi says...

The Uni can build a big swimming pool if and when it needs one.
The Uni can build a big swimming pool if and when it needs one. PrivateSi

3:11pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Jabbadad says...

:Looking back at reports in this paper at least two other pools were mentioned one being around £2, millions.
So what is needed is a revisit to the drawing board and a scheme that can incorporate existing buildings and you couldn't get a better flat site than Perdiswell.
And a design should be one that could be expanded by laying all the services so that they can be coupled up and lengthened / extended when needed, just as the services in the new Hospital were designed, until the land around the Hospital was sold and the hospital became almost landlocked., So as the financial situation of this country gets better, as it will the pool could grow as well..
:Looking back at reports in this paper at least two other pools were mentioned one being around £2, millions. So what is needed is a revisit to the drawing board and a scheme that can incorporate existing buildings and you couldn't get a better flat site than Perdiswell. And a design should be one that could be expanded by laying all the services so that they can be coupled up and lengthened / extended when needed, just as the services in the new Hospital were designed, until the land around the Hospital was sold and the hospital became almost landlocked., So as the financial situation of this country gets better, as it will the pool could grow as well.. Jabbadad

8:19pm Thu 5 Dec 13

newike says...

Once again we hear about if the pool were built then Perdiswell sports centre would be pulled down. Why ? Why ? Why ? Surely a fairly new sports centre could have a pool attached to it. Why pull it down? No wonder its 10 plus million if building a pool means building a new sports centre too. What a waste.
Where do these ideas come from ? We have heard a pool could be built for less, why not come clean over what magnificent plans for extras are in the councils planning. Tell us please how an 8 lane is 13 million on its own.
Once again we hear about if the pool were built then Perdiswell sports centre would be pulled down. Why ? Why ? Why ? Surely a fairly new sports centre could have a pool attached to it. Why pull it down? No wonder its 10 plus million if building a pool means building a new sports centre too. What a waste. Where do these ideas come from ? We have heard a pool could be built for less, why not come clean over what magnificent plans for extras are in the councils planning. Tell us please how an 8 lane is 13 million on its own. newike

9:43am Sat 7 Dec 13

Hwicce says...

Have a look at Oxfords Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre just being completed.

They got
•25 metre main pool with moveable floor
•A teaching pool
•A toddlers' splash pool
•Village and group changing facilities
•Spectator seating including café style area
•A sauna
•Soft play area

for about £10 million all funded by the Council. Very similar set up to Perdiswell where they have built on to an existing Leisure Centre.

http://www.oxford.go
v.uk/
PageRender/decLP/
NewSwimmingPoolDevel
opment.htm
Have a look at Oxfords Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre just being completed. They got •25 metre main pool with moveable floor •A teaching pool •A toddlers' splash pool •Village and group changing facilities •Spectator seating including café style area •A sauna •Soft play area for about £10 million all funded by the Council. Very similar set up to Perdiswell where they have built on to an existing Leisure Centre. http://www.oxford.go v.uk/ PageRender/decLP/ NewSwimmingPoolDevel opment.htm Hwicce

8:27am Mon 9 Dec 13

sugarlump says...

Hmmm - they are thinking about alternative uses for the Hive?
Hmmm - they are thinking about alternative uses for the Hive? sugarlump

9:44am Mon 9 Dec 13

Jabbadad says...

Perhaps they have a forward thinking council at Oxford, or spent their concsultancy fees wisely unlike Worcester. When the costs for the planned new pool at Perdiswell were announced they were eye watering. Yes we Could / Should look into the furure, but we should also design a system which can grow with the expectations of the people of Worcester.
Perhaps such a call is not to be trusted to our local Councillors, and they should stay discussing additional Dog Bins and food waste collection issues..
Perhaps they have a forward thinking council at Oxford, or spent their concsultancy fees wisely unlike Worcester. When the costs for the planned new pool at Perdiswell were announced they were eye watering. Yes we Could / Should look into the furure, but we should also design a system which can grow with the expectations of the people of Worcester. Perhaps such a call is not to be trusted to our local Councillors, and they should stay discussing additional Dog Bins and food waste collection issues.. Jabbadad

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