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Elephant and Castle Leisure Centre Project Consultation

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Tuesday 24 August 2010 1.44pm
There's a public event on 14 September too:

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Tuesday 24 August 2010 1.51pm
Indeed read the instructions carefully - I was only saved as I didn't enter one answer.

Vote 5 for MOST important and 1 for least important. Anyone would think this unusual scoring system had been chosen for a reason...

Also, you can't rank the full list of options in importance as there are six choices and only scores of 1 to 5, so I guess just rank each individually as you must rank all to be able to move on.
Tuesday 24 August 2010 2.04pm
jonnyboy122 wrote:
Indeed read the instructions carefully - I was only saved as I didn't enter one answer.
Vote 5 for MOST important and 1 for least important. Anyone would think this unusual scoring system had been chosen for a reason...

Indeed that's what happened to me - I almost got it wrong, hence I wrote read carefully.
Friday 27 August 2010 10.56am
Some of us are trying to make noise about this consultation in North Lambeth. The Lambeth Labour Council have promised us a kind of co-operative deal in which Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham work in a co-operative manner to provide co-operative services to residents in the aforementioned boroughs. In an era of cuts, you'd have thought that financial support from your neighbouring borough in the form of swimming pool entry costs would be welcome!

It's easy to see that the proposed swimming pool in E&C would benefit Kennington, Oval and Vauxhall residents too. E&C is much nearer for us than Waterloo and the bus and tube links are good. Some Lambeth Kennington residents could even walk

Consequently, we're wondering what weight the Southwark officers would give to views from Lambeth. Do the Cathedrals ward Labour councillors read this board? A swimming pool is already theoretically provided and should be re-provided in any new leisure centre. How can we be good citizens of the "Big Society" / "Co-operative Council" and promote co-operation between our neighbouring London villages?

See here for the post and comments:
Friday 27 August 2010 6.05pm
We could discuss it: after Lambeth re opens Kennington park Lido.
Monday 30 August 2010 12.23am
Whilst I'd support a "reopen Kennington Lido" campaign, it seems to me to be considerably more difficult to replace a Lido that is buried beneath tennis/netball courts. At least the Fusion centre is still (just?) standing :)
Monday 30 August 2010 12.04pm
Hasta la lido siempre !
Tuesday 31 August 2010 8.51am
Swimming pools.

If Southward could persuade SBEG to search through their files they would find a load of consultation confirming the local priority given to a swimming pool.

My assumption has been that there has been a decade-long stand off between SBEG and Southwark, with South Bank University also playing a role. So no pool.

Pools are expensive. The real cost of each visit is probably in excess of 12 pounds. Entrance fees cannot be set at this level as no one would go. The area can probably only afford one pool if that pool is to operate at close to break even. (Which makes me wonder whether Southwark have left their initiative to the point where Doon Street is likely to happen in order to ensure they have an argument for not providing their own.)

My concern is that Doon Street is far less accessible for the majority of residential users seeking a pool, particularly the young and old. (The potential catchment is huge and stretches as far as Stockwell on the Kennington side: nearest pools are Surrey Quays, Peckham, Brixton, Clapham Manor - though this is threatened, the Oasis and Victoria.) Doon Street however is a better location for office workers on both sides of the Thames and they will be able to pay more. The danger then is that we end up with something that resembles a private health club rather than swimming provision for local people.

The way a pool is managed and who is considered the target market is important, not just because of pricing. My daughter is swimming with a swimming club, and there really is a dire shortage of pool time in Central London. The Latchmere is a leisure pool and not suitable. Swimmers at Putney have to compete for pool booking with a variety of adult groups including canoe football and underwater hockey, which means that kids as young as 8 or 9 are expected to swim at 5.30-6.30 on a Monday morning. Swimmers reaching national/international level are doing part of their training in the Queen Mum diving pool (no 50m pool for them!), whilst Fulham is kept so warm (to please the leisure swimmers) that swimmers have to get out every 20 minutes and take a cold shower to avoid overheating. In addition leisure contracts at both Brixton and Clapham seem to preclude Club use. The pool at the Shell Centre is used in the evenings by adult swim/water polo clubs, but Shell don't seem keen on opening up to clubs providing for youth and age group swimming. Because of the problems the Amateur Swimming Association has earmarked developmental funding for the area for a number of years, but the lack of a pool this money remains unspent.

Swim training requires a lot of pool time so, though I would like to, I cannot argue that a pool should be designed solely around sports use. However there is a need to have a sensible and open discussion about potential demand and costs, which then feed into decisions on location, design and management which help achieve a pool that is as economically sustainable as it can be and which will deliver to local people.

Certainly for Clubs the Elephant would work better, as getting from the South Bank to most schools in the early morning would be a nightmare. (The Queen Mother is similarly good with swimmers finishing at 7.30 in time to complete journeys to schools all over the place.)

The ASAs London HQ is in Black Prince road so they know the area. I hope Southwark are drawing on their expertise.
Tuesday 31 August 2010 11.07am
There's a big pool at Guy's Hospital...under the residential tower block...doesn't get used much...belongs to the NHS I presume...maybe they can offer some access for local users.
Tuesday 31 August 2010 1.19pm

Your response was very interesting and highly informative.

You imply firstly that SBEG have an archive of information (is this in the form of previous consultations?) about the priority residents give to a pool. Is that information browsable my members of the public or is it information that belongs to SBEG? I'm not too sure that I understand the nature of the dispute between SBEG, Southwark Council and SB University. Can you speculate further?

Can you advise what it is that makes pools so expensive to run? Is it a maintenance cost or a staff cost (or both)? I share your concern re. Doon Street, especially the point re. essentially providing a private members club, rather than a public pool. Also, I believe that Southwark Council were committed to providing a pool at the Elephant and Castle. I don't understand what has happened that they are unable to continue providing that facility.
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