FIGHT TO SAVE TOD­DLER POOL

The Wokingham Paper - - FRONT PAGE -

FA­CIL­I­TIES for un­der fives were put un­der the mi­cro­scope dur­ing pub­lic ques­tion time at the Ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing.

Alexan­dra Fraser, who is spear­head­ing a pe­ti­tion to get Wok­ing­ham Bor­ough Coun­cil to re­in­state a tod­dler-friendly splash pool in the plans for the new Car­ni­val Pool, asked: “What sports and leisure fea­tures you will in­clude in the Elms Field re­gen­er­a­tion specif­i­cally for the un­der five age group?”

Cllr Stu­art Munro, ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber for busi­ness and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and re­gen­er­a­tion, said: “I am un­able to dis­cuss the Car­ni­val pro­pos­als … as the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion was sub­mit­ted in July and is cur­rently un­der de­ter­mi­na­tion by the lo­cal plan­ning au­thor­ity”.

He then went on to list the Elms Field scheme de­vel­op­ment pro­pos­als that would ben­e­fit all ages in­clud­ing the cin­ema, restau­rants, ten­nis camps for ages five up­wards, and an “im­proved park with large ar­eas of open grass to run around”.

But Ms Fraser was dis­ap­pointed with Cllr Munro’s re­ply, press­ing him for spe­cific ex­am­ples for un­der fives only, such as a splash pool in Car­ni­val Pool.

And on Fri­day, a group of con­cerned par­ents who are sup­port­ing Ms Fraser’s cam­paign gath­ered out­side Car­ni­val Pool with their tod­dlers to raise aware­ness of a pe­ti­tion they’ve set up to force Wok­ing­ham Bor­ough Coun­cil to keep the splash pool.

Ms Fraser said: “I didn’t get an an­swer: they danced around the topic. They gave me an an­swer to a ques­tion I didn’t ask.

“Pri­mar­ily the young chil­dren have a swim­ming en­vi­ron­ment that’s safe to be, and it’s stim­u­lat­ing and en­gag­ing. Their so­lu­tion to not hav­ing one is to have a mov­able floor, it’s not a so­lu­tion. If you’ve got an eightyear-old and a two-year-old, how are you go­ing to en­ter­tain them?

“Also, from a swim­ming per­spec­tive, it’s cru­cial to have a pool where kids can feel con­fi­dent in.

“It’s a money thing.”

The pe­ti­tion can be signed at

you.38de­grees.org.uk/pe­ti­tions/car­ni­val-pool-to-keep-its-beach-pool

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