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Paddling Pool Needs New Floor Just Five Years On from Refurbishment

Published on: 12 Jan, 2022
Updated on: 14 Jan, 2022

Stoke Park Paddling Pool after its 2016 refurbishment

By Emily Coady-Stemp

local democracy reporter

A plan to replace the surface of Stoke Park paddling pool at a cost of £170,000 has been put forward.

Guildford Borough Council’s Executive will consider a bid for capital funding to replace the floor of the pool, which is breaking up and blocking filters, with fibreglass.

The works would need to be done during April, to be ready for the pool to reopen again from May, with one councillor raising concerns over the timings for the project.

At the borough council’s executive advisory board meeting on Monday 10 January, members discussed replacing the pool’s floor, which is now five years old.

According to council documents, the surface would need replacing again in another five years if the same “wetpour” material as the current surface was used again.

But the proposed fibreglass surface would seal the pool, has a five-year guarantee and an estimated life span of 25 years. It would also cost around twice as much as replacing with wetpour.

The £170,000 estimate is based on a quote from one supplier.

With the floor breaking up as it currently is, filters at the pool have to be regularly cleared in order to keep the water hygienic. The cost of running the pool is estimated to be £20,000 a year.

Cllr Angela Goodwin

Cllr Angela Goodwin (Liberal Democrats, Friary & St Nicolas) said she fully support the bid and recognised it was important to ensure the pool was safe and the filters clean.

She said: “I think it’s such a positive asset in Guildford, I can honestly say that most families I’ve known over the years, at some point somebody has dipped their toe into that paddling pool, whether they’re a grown up or they’re a young child.”

The report also noted that because the fibreglass would be a hard surface, there was a risk that it might not feel as comfortable for small children to use.

Cllr Tony Rooth

Cllr Tony Rooth (R4GV, Pilgrims) said he was also concerned about the timeline of the work needing to be organised and done by May, when the paddling pool would normally open.

He said: “I would agree that this is one of our bestsellers, to the public and their enjoyment of the borough and what we can provide here.

“But is it actually deliverable by April when the season for kids to play in the paddling pool really starts off?”

The budget will be brought to full council meeting for approval on February 9.

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