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In the Press

posted 15 Apr 2010, 12:51 by Mike M
Once again The Herts Advertiser has more than a whole page of letters covering the new Westminster Lodge Project. There are four letters (see Pool Size Protest) supportive of our views, including an extensive new Q&A from our own Mr Gilroy covering Council's (lack of) long term main pool demand forecasting, analysis and deduction.

Silence again this week from SADC and their architect, but we don't have the clean sweep we had in last week's postbag, with two further letters (see Pool Protest Row Continued), one advocating no new project at all, and the other from the Winfields, two self styled serious swimmers (presumably club swimmers) aged 15 and 12.

It is great to have the wider community contributing to this debate, but sadly the Winfields only view the requirements of a pool from their 'serious' swimmer perspective, dismissing a pool longer than 25m because "it is difficult for coaches to control swimmers at both sides of the pool as the length is too long". They also fail to distinguish the use of humour- a legitimate and traditionally British way of furthering debate- from "abuse and ridicule", and while they accept that a configurable 50m pool doesn't mean everyone has to swim an unbroken 50m they argue that because they visited a configurable 50m pool in Loughborough that wasn't being fully used while they were there this means we can't possibly justify building such a pool in St. Albans, concluding "therefore I am sure a 50m would not be cost effective" (they make no mention of demand, population growth, overload etc.) They also imply that the Herts Advertiser on-line newspaper poll (one week's worth of un-audited anonymous mouse clicks) is a fair reflection of public opinion- making no mention of the over 200 (to 2) individually registered letters of objection to the Council's planning department- and then grandly speak for all young people by asking "has anyone actually asked us what we want?" (seemingly not appreciating that PoolTooSmallers are arguing on behalf of children and grandchildren because we are trying to see things from outside of our own personal needs). I would only add that one of the basic problems with the new Westminster Lodge project has been that very few of us, young or old, have been asked what we want! I can also only agree with the Winfields that the new Westminster Lodge is indeed very, very late. However, since we've all waited this long we should at least make sure we get it right.

In other news of general interest to swimmers this week (we're absolutely not claiming this has any relevance one way or the otheanother to our campaign), the Review has a deeply sobering but also hugely uplifting report: "Lifeguards save swimmer".