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posted 19 Jul 2011, 05:14 by David Gilroy   [ updated 19 Jul 2011, 05:16 ]
Hats off to the Herts Advertiser for publishing our views - without fear or favour , this week 4 of us with different takes in support of the 10 lane New Lodge development and associated issues. Two professional engineers, Cllr Mike Wakely and David Gilroy , plus retired School Governor Max Schroeder and a Mr Ray Fairbairn all weigh in to support the new Council team. Read them all online below at :-
Born and bred in the City well over 6 decades ago , Mr Max Schroeder has a long memory of City affairs and writes:-
SIR:-Once again Cllr Rowlands of the once "vaunted" now expired LD party has committed the sin of flaunting recognised fact. The SADC planning committee under Cllr Daly has corrected recognised errors of the Burton Westminster Bodge party and secured the creation of the much-wanted 10x25metre lane pool. And yet Cllr Rowlands still has the audacity and nerve to belittle his so-called minority represented by PoolTooSmall action group. It is this sound-thinking group that have saved St.Albans swimmers from colliding with each other in 10 years' time. The "minority" Cllr Rowlands refers to is really his own party's narrow thinking , exemplified by the 326 emails/written objections received by SADC Planning department plus the petition of Mr Goodall for a 50 metre pool which planning officer Mr Moorhouse reported as 731 people.This makes 1057- some "minority " Mr Rowlands.And as for "short termism at it's worse" another Rowlands quote - surely even he has to hold his hands up and admit that Cllr Mike Wakely , a qualified structural engineer,has, with Willmott Dixon's flexibility , achieved a victory at no extra cost.
M SCHROEDER Green Lane, St.Albans.
Mr Ray Fairbairn of St.Albans writes:-
SIR:- As one of Cllr Rowlands "placated minority" I am pleased that the new Tory council has gone some way to give St.Albans swimmers a bit more elbow room in the new Westminster Lodge complex. Congratulations to both the new council and the builders for organising the changes in such short time.
By the way, did the last Lib Dem council ever reach agreement with HSBC about cancelling the existing lease on Bricket Wood pool when they closed it to paying customers before the lease had finished and were still paying for it some months later?
RAY FAIRBAIRN Warren Road, St.Albans.
PoolTooSmall comments.The previous administration did conclude a financial deal with HSBC. The present Executive Leader of SADC , Cllr Julian Daly, monitored the whole saga when in opposition and can now probably give you chapter and verse on the final outturn. Please click on the following link for an earlier PoolTooSmall report :-
PoolTooSmall is pleased to commend to you Cllr Mike Wakely's Letter in today's Review, his first there since becoming Deputy Executive Leader of SADC.Please click on :- for the whole letter.Our summary of this Structural Engineer's view is published below.
"Action not just words. Impressive action by the public sector compared to the private.During election canvassing , 2 concerns St Peter's Street retail loss and inadequate size of Westminster Lodge high cost pool. With full apppreciation to Simon (Ramage), Willmott Dixon's Project Manager , a deal to widen the main pool to 10 lanes has been finalised within existing budget. Expanding the size of pool will be paid for by cutting
back unnecessarily high cost of materials of the (LD) plans. A 25% increase in the main pool plus making the the gym changing rooms multi-use provides future proofing to meet predicted demand from St.Albans' growing population. The defeated (previous) administration's own numbers showed the planned pool was not big enough to meet local demand for swimming. In addition , as a 3rd stage of it's "root and branch review " the new administration is challenging the old (LD) administration's acceptance of the new service road through car parks, twice across footpaths and blighting expansion potential of the Abbey Theatre to find a more efficient and likely cheaper solution off Holywell Hill. If the pool widening had been done 10 months ago , it would have halved the cost. If the defeated administration had listened 2 years ago , the Lodge could have been regenerated for £15 million not £25 million . The LD's response is to try and delay this futureproofing by "calling in" the cabinet decision on the business plan, risking more cost for residents. Their excuse - not enough review of the process of expanding the pool. Well, residents' votes in the election seem to prove them very wrong."
PoolTooSmall comments. We have no political status and report events as we see them. We do commend Cllr Wakely in his capacity as a professional structural engineer together with colleagues, for excellent prompt action in their first 4 weeks in office . What a breath of fresh air- professional engineering action replacing years of misguided political dogma!
to round off the week ,here is a view of construction operations taken from the steps of our existing Leisure Centre. It shows the corner of the site, junction of Mud Lane and Holywell Hill , where the 10 lane Main Pool will be . Three JCB's , one dumper truck and the hard hat men of WDCL all going at it . Left hand JCB shows reinforcement grids being laid at the intersection of 10 lane Main Pool and the 17 metre Learner Pool. It looks mayhem but in fact it is very logical indeed .Keep up the good work lads !