The weather is unreliable. But just as July and August can sometimes be rather miserable it can sometimes be hot and sunny in September. So I’ve asked the Council to consider keep the paddling pool open into September so that when the weather is fine – as it was this year – it can be enjoyed. On September 14th, for example, many residents were disappointed to arrive to find the pool open on a sweltering day.
I asked Ian Ross, the Parks Manager, about the costing and feasibility of doing keeping the pool full for longer.
I have had the response which I thought sounded rather encouraging:
Dear Councillor Phibbs,
Thank you for your email. In response to the points you raise:
1. The cost of commissioning and decommissioning the facility is circa £2,500 per annum; any defects/repairs required are charged additionally. The chemicals required for operating the paddling pool are circa £50/week and an additional seasonal member of staff is employed, whose duties include the paddling pool, at a cost of circa £450/week.
2. Extending the operation of the paddling pool is not as simple as it would seem; the decommissioning needs to be booked in months in advance to ensure we have a slot that is timely following the end of season; making a late decision to extend could mean we then have to wait several weeks to decommission, which wouldn’t do the operating system any good being sat dormant. Additionally, the closing date is key to our ordering of chemicals to ensure we only have a minimum on-site for the winter so by the last days we are almost at zero stock.
3. At this stage an easier option would be to look to extend the paddling pool season until mid-September and we will be taking a recommendation accordingly to Cllr Harcourt shortly for next year.
It is worth noting that last winter we spent approximately £25,000 repairing the surface, updating the dosing unit and repairing pipework.
I am aware we are not fully able to answer your question in terms of an additional price per week but hope the explanation above outlines why.