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Beginning of the end for Pontypridd paddling pool

April 15, 2014 3:57 PM

The bulldozers are moving in on Pontypridd paddling pool as preparatory works for the renovation of the lido in Ynysangharad Park gets under way.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor Mike Powell and his colleagues have been at the forefront of a long campaign to keep the paddling pool. He says

"Many residents have been saddened by the sight of the paddling pool fenced off ready for the demolition squad to move in. This pool is part of Ponty's history, every bit as much as the lido, and thousands of people have very happy memories of days spent here.

"The park will never be the same again, and whilst I would in this instance like to be proved wrong, in my opinion the new lido is not going to provide the regional tourist attraction that the Council say it will.

"Building work is going to discourage visitors to the rest of the park this summer, and once they get into the habit of going elsewhere they are unlikely to come back. The Big Bite which is a major draw during the summer and brings hoards of people to the town is being moved to the Heritage Park, whether or not it will come back next year who knows."

A referendum in November 2012 saw a huge local vote in favour for retaining the paddling pool but the Labour Cabinet chose to ignore the opinions of the 2077 who voted to keep it against the 151 who were willing to see it go.

Local residents commenting on the Save Pontypridd paddling pool Facebook site are clearly upset and angry. Former Councillor Graeme Beard said

"They are your democratically elected representatives ignoring the democratic voice of the people that elected them. Remember this and the unnecessary cuts in May 2017. They rely on short memories and a donkey vote."

Kathleen Couchman added

"It makes you wonder how they haven't been prosecuted for the scams, lies and destruction of our town by total neglect. How can the demolition of the Paddling Pool go ahead on 0.5% vote 'for demolition' against 99.5% against? Our town is being demolished, (and sold) brick by brick and stone by stone."

Despite a long battle which has included petitions to the Assembly and sustained pressure from residents it looks as if the paddling pool which is at the heart of the War Memorial Park will disappear soon.

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