MS slams council over paddling pools ‘fiasco’
Richard Evans, local democracy reporter
A local authority has come under fire from a Senedd Member after claims that its four paddling pools which closed in April will not reopen until next year.
Aberconwy MS Janet Finch-Saunders has slammed Conwy County Council’s management of its four pools and described the handling of the maintenance of the pools as “an absolute disgrace”.
The council came under fire in April after it announced that paddling pools in Craig-y-Don in Llandudno, Rhos-on-Sea, Llanfairfechan, and Penmaenmawr would not re-open in 2023, due to a high risk of people slipping.
The authority said the only UK provider who could install the specialist anti-slip coating needed was unable to complete the work due to ill health. Then in May, the council said an alternative contractor had been found.
But the work has still not been completed, and the summer holidays have now been and gone with children set to return to school next week.
Mrs Finch-Saunders said: “This whole scenario has been an absolute shambles, a fiasco.
“It is time for the council and the leader Cllr Charlie McCoubrey and the cabinet member whose watch this is happened on, Cllr Aaron Wynne, to explain to people how on earth it can be that these paddling pools, which have been there for years, decades, have been left in the way they have.
“I’ve been there, to the one in Craig y Don. I met the contractor, and I’ve been told it won’t be open now till next year.
“I’ve spoken to the head of tourism, Sarah Ecob, and even said to her ‘make an announcement; make a statement. Don’t leave everybody in limbo’.
“The cafe owners (cafes leased from the council at the paddling pools) have a contract.
“They signed that contract thinking the pools would be full this summer.”
She added: “They’ve been badly let down, and I hope the county council, their landlord, go easy on them now for rent because one would expect compensation because of the way they’ve been treated. It is an absolute disgrace.
“They were told the pools would be filled, and they have lost a lot of their business.”
A Conwy County Council spokeswoman commented: “Work is continuing on the four paddling pools.”
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