Statement from our Deputy Leader Councillor Jonathan Brook in proposing recommendations on Grange Lido at Full Council
I want to start by thanking Phil and his team for their passion and commitment to this project.
I would like to propose the recommendations outlined in Section 2 of the papers, namely: that we:
- Debate the petition proposing that the restoration of the Lido includes a swimming pool;
- Request any comments made during the debate be forwarded to Cabinet for consideration as part of the decision-making process; and
- Delegate authority to the Director of Policy and Resources, in consultation with the relevant Portfolio Holder, to formulate any necessary response that accords with the decision of this Council.
Our rules for this item on our agenda tonight, say that we have 15 minutes to debate the Petition.
Our time is very limited. I want to say that there is opportunity for a further more detailed debate at Cabinet on 23 January and subsequently at our Council Budget Meeting on 26 February.
This is a complex issue, with lots of historical baggage, with differing opinions about viability and finances.
I want to try to cut through all this by saying:
That we have listened to the different interested parties, the people of Grange, local Councillors, the Grange Lido Community Interest Company, Save Grange Lido and our own officers. In the light of all these different voices we have come up with a plan.
This plan, the light touch refurbishment, has a time line and a twin track approach that allows the Council to progress its plans for stabilising the structure and the sea defences, making the area safe and opening it up to the public, whilst at the same time allowing SGL to further develop their plans and then, subject to the provision of certain assurances, secured funding and evidence of local support including that of the elected representatives of Grange Town Council, for their proposals to be taken forward.
Our plan, allows for the possibility of a future pool, whilst enabling this Council to get on with the job of making urgent repairs to the existing structure.
I believe we are developing the spirit of cooperation, between the parties. There have now been several meetings and more are planned. However, I do not believe, it is appropriate at this stage to narrow down the options, and commit to a re-watered pool, particularly when the costs and future liability of this Council in respect of a pool restoration are not fully understood.
That is why I’m happy to propose the recommendations as outlined in the report. I look forward to working further with all interested parties, whilst at the same time getting on with the job of restoring this iconic structure and cleaning up and opening up a site that has been a blight on the town of Grange for too long.