Making a Splash

The Residents Association and Liberal Democrat Administration – which runs Elmbridge Borough Council – has confirmed its plans for opening the Borough’s Paddling Pools this summer.

The paddling pools at Oatlands and Churchfields Recreation Grounds are usually open for the school summer holidays.

This year the situation is complicated by the pandemic and the need to comply with the relevant government guidance. This has raised concerns that it might not be possible to open the paddling pools, since considerable works are needed to make them safe for everyone.

Currently the government is on course for further unlocking – Stage 4 on its Roadmap – from 21 June.

Councillors and officers met on Friday afternoon to review the position.

After the meeting Councillor Janet Turner – the Cabinet portfolio holder for Leisure – said:

“We know how much families with young children want to see the paddling pools open this summer and we share their wishes.

Obviously, we will rigorously follow government advice but subject to that we have asked the Council’s officers to assess all they can do to have the paddling pools open.

Contrary to some rumours, the Administration has NO intention of closing the paddling pools or the Splash Pad, in fact it is looking at the option of having these facilities open for longer.”

Councillor Chris Sadler, Leader of the Council, commented:

“We have listened carefully to the officers’ advice about the operation of the pools and the risk of government guidance changing if circumstances change.

We know our residents will want to see the paddling pools open.Therefore we have asked our officers to assess how the pools can be opened safely.

We all hope that we will continue to make progress towards unlocking and that, all being well, the paddling pools will contribute to an enjoyable summer.”