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After Just Five Days, Guildford Paddling Pool Closes Again

Published on: 2 Jun, 2022
Updated on: 4 Jun, 2022

Stoke Park Paddling Pool

By Emily Coady-Stemp

local democracy reporter

A paddling pool has closed just days after reopening because parents have complained parts of it are too slippery.

The Stoke Park paddling pool had been resurfaced at a cost of £141,000 after the old floor had started to disintegrate.

But Guildford Borough Council announced it had closed the pool temporarily on Wednesday (June 1) after families got in contact to say “parts of the floor are too slippery at the moment”.

The pool was announced as open on the borough council’s Facebook page on Friday, May 27.

James Steele (Lib Dem, Westborough), lead councillor for Environment, said: “We are reviewing with the contractor the pool surface to identify the timeline to reopen the pool.

Cllr James Steel

“We will update as soon as we have more information.”

At a January meeting of the authority’s executive advisory board, councillors heard that the surface of the pool was breaking away, meaning filters were having to be regularly cleared in order to keep the water hygienic.

The pool was last resurfaced five years ago.

A Facebook post by the borough council on Wednesday said: “We’re really very sorry that we have to close the paddling pool temporarily as families have told us parts of the floor are too slippery at the moment.

“We have closed to keep you safe while we look into and fix this with the contractor.

“Thank you for your patience. We are as disappointed as you and hope to open again as soon as we can.”

At a meeting of the borough council’s executive on Thursday (May 26), before the closure was announced, council leader Joss Bigmore (Residents for Guildford and Villages, Christchurch) had raised further concerns about the future of the pool because of a nationwide shortage of pool chemicals.

He said: “We’re confident we’ll be okay for the next few weeks, but I apologise in advance if we have temporary closures because of a lack of chemicals.

“We’re doing our best to make sure that supply chains are robust.”

See also: Making a Splash, Stoke Park Paddling Pool Re-opens

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Responses to After Just Five Days, Guildford Paddling Pool Closes Again

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    June 2, 2022 at 9:00 pm

    Is there no one competent to give the council advice as to which swimming pool walking surface meets basic standards?

  2. Sara Tokunaga Reply

    June 3, 2022 at 9:37 am

    With the national fixation on health and safety and risk assessment how come nobody thought to check the floor of the pool before it reopened? Was the person responsible for checking working from home and, therefore, only did a virtual review of the work undertaken?

    • Russell Morris Reply

      June 5, 2022 at 10:52 am

      I guess the only reliable way of checking it would have been by filling it with water and getting a couple of kids to run about in it. That’s, in fact, what has happened.

      Visual inspection of the dry pool, without specialist technical equipment, probably wouldn’t reveal very much. Either the specification was wrong, or the contractor failed to meet the specification.

      • Jim Allen Reply

        June 5, 2022 at 7:48 pm

        Actually no testing should be needed. When the surface was purchased its suitability for swimming and paddling pools would have been on the technical specifications. It’s such a very basic item the council officer should have checked the technical specification sheet before accepting the quotation.

  3. Brian Holt Reply

    June 3, 2022 at 5:58 pm

    Nothing will change at GBC until all staff return to the offices. I have been told by one member of staff they just go in one day a week. But if they can go in for one day why not the other four?

    While they work from home I was told that at times they cannot even contact their office.

    Last week when I phoned GBC, I was on hold 39 minutes trying to get through to repairs, which still is not listed on their the recorded message.

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