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So what happens next in paddling pool saga?

November 2, 2012 8:37 PM

After yesterday's resounding 'yes' vote in the community poll on whether to retain thepaddling pool the obvious question is what happens next?

The Council have issued a statement which is a mere rehash of the one they put out following the meeting at which the referendum was called for. Yet again they repeat the now boringly weary line that, as reported on Wales Online "plans for the lido could now be scuppered."

At least now the line is also appearing which states "they say it is not financially viable to keep both pools side-by-side." Which is at last a glimmer of the truth. The business plan which they have kept so carefully hidden from Councillors, never mind the general taxpaying public, is obviously carefully centered around bringing in the maximum revenue from the Lido. Whatever their claims about free entry for children they are looking to make money. Add to that the comment made by the Director of Regeneration and Planning at the meeting in the Muni that she could not rule out involvement from a private contractor and two and two definitely starts to make four.

A 'spokesperson' said

""The council will note the outcome of the community poll at its next meeting later this month. "It must be stressed that the result of this poll is not binding on the council in any way."

This is true, as we have said all along, the Council can choose to ignore it and press on with the plans, so the battle may be won but the war still goes on.

The anonymous spokesperson goes on to say that

"When discussing the outcome, the council will consider the future regeneration of Pontypridd and the wider interests of Rhondda Cynon Taff which were not taken into consideration yesterday."

True, the poll yesterday was on a simple question regarding the paddling pool retention, but it is simply not true to say that there has been no consideration of the regeneration as a whole and the wider interests of RCT.

We are not looking to save the paddling pool just to be awkward, or because it is has some emotional attachment, as Owen Smith had the nerve to suggest in his Pontypridd Observer column this week. We want to save the pool because it brings visitors to the town, and with it much needed revenue. It provides a FREE facility for residents not only of Pontypridd but much further afield, and that is something that is a rarity.

The Council talks about bringing in tourists, but the paddling pool already does that. And let's not forget the abysmal record of RCT Council in relation to tourism.

What happen next? Well the ball is in the Council's court - they have already indicated their intention. Their arrogance is such that they will not back down, they consider that they were given the absolute right to do whatever they want on 3rd May when the people of RCT elected them to power with such a huge majority. And in that they are right - they have the power to do what they want. When the residents of RCT fell for their line to 'send a message to Cameron and Clegg' they forget the message they were sending to Cllr Christopher and his colleagues - feel free to walk all over us!

It remains to be seen which option they will choose. The next Council meeting is on 14th November - members of the public can attend.