The Town Council is aware of the disappointment of residents and visitors with regards to the delayed opening of the paddling pool.
The main issue for the delay relates to health and safety guidance on the operation of pools. We were advised of this in early June 2021 when staff undertook a training course on pool operation and maintenance. It soon became apparent that we would be operating outside of the required guidelines.
The first action we had to undertake was to contract out the development of a new Normal Operating Procedure (NOP) for the paddling pool, which includes procedures and analysis of the pool, the quality of the water, the surrounding area, the equipment, the use and storage of chemicals as well as the management and supervision. The NOP is due to be completed by the end of July 2021, however as they discover issues and areas of concern, they are advising us of what is required to resolve them to enable us to rectify them as soon as possible. We have already been advised of certain things that we need to amend, purchase or install and we are resolving those as soon as we can, subject to availability.
One area that we have been made aware of is that there needs to be a strict capacity on the quantity of people at the paddling pool site, we have been told that we cannot exceed 140 people at any one time. The reduction in numbers will be permanent to comply with the NOP, it is not a COVID-19 restriction. We realise that this will create an issue and we are looking into an effective booking system to ensure that numbers are controlled and that people can turn up knowing they can access the pool. Updates will appear on our website and social media with regards to this.