Dave's Q&A

(see also Dave's PMP report Q&A for more detail on SADC's (lack of) demand projection for the new pool).

Q. Why will the new Main Pool be Unfit for Purpose even from the year it is supposed to open in 2012?

A. Because it will not be big enough to meet customer demand at certain peak times of year even then. At 25 metres by 8 lanes it has a maximum bather load (MBL) of only 142 persons. The present Main Pool (133 persons MBL) went into overload several times in summer of 2009 witnessed by customers and staff alike! Customers queuing out the WLLC doors were turned away! From now on it will just get worse and worse,year after year and decade after decade due to extra population demand!

Q. Do you mean to tell me that the SADC team have only planned for 9 extra Main Pool swimmers in the next 4 decades or more?

A. Yes.The SADC team simply lacked the professional competence to plan for the future.They blundered by not asking the right questions and getting the right answers.

Q. How did the SADC team specify the wrong size Main Pool?

A. The SADC team failed to project and analyse customer demand for the lifetime of the Main Pool , say 40-50 years and deduce the required size as professionals would. The SADC team were badly advised and were led to the wrong Main Pool size conclusion.

Q. So not only could my family be turned away at peak times but it would get worse as the years and decades went by?

A. Absolutely. Office of National Statistics figures show the St.Albans population growing steadily for the next few decades hence the demand for more and more Main Pool water space.The closure of Bricket Wood Leisure Centre in February 2010 has exacerbated this further.

Q. So this 9 places extra the SADC team has allowed won’t even meet demand at peak times from opening year in say 2012 never mind the next few decades?


Q.This is appalling–why doesn’t the SADC team accept they got the size wrong?

A. They don’t want to admit their blunder of 2006 and voluntarily go back to the drawing board. Since that bad decision, they are living with the fact that they put the cart before the horse. Overload demand by the swimming public brutally exposed them in Summer 2009 – they are now trying to defend the indefensible .

Q. What if the SADC team admit the truth that a bigger Main Pool is needed, say a 25 metre by 10 lanes (MBL 177), but say they can’t afford it ?

A.Then go back to the drawing board and reassess everything with a new team including some WLLC users. It will be madness to spend £26.776 million getting it wrong– we might as well keep the present facility and retain the money until an honest professional conclusion is reached. We owe this to our children, grandchildren and theirs yet to be born.

Q.Is it too late to stop SADC squandering £26.776 million of our money on a facility featuring a Main Pool with a derisory 9 extra Main Pool swimming places?

A. No. The SADC team want you to think it’s all sewn up.They haven’t got Planning Permission and with this flawed proposal they don’t deserve to . No contracts have been placed or signed or should be. Nothing has been finalised yet or should be.

Q. What is the outlook for the people of St.Albans and their future swimming needs if SADC steamroller this flawed proposal through?

A. Very grim indeed. Not only will the present St.Albans population see their own being turned away at peak times soon but our children and grandchildren yet to be born will have been badly sold short too! This is a terrible legacy for Olympic Year 2012 especially.A wasted opportunity our great City will regret.

Q. How did the planners of 1971 get it so right and the planners of 2010 get it so wrong ?

A. The excellent 1971 team built in 38 years of water space growth whereas the team of 2010 didn’t know how to and blundered massively! Thank goodness this SADC team has been badly exposed in time by the people swimming in ever increasing numbers in 2009!

Q.What’s the next step?

A.Send this SADC team back to the drawing board.They badly need an in-house professional of Chief Engineer calibre to get this whole project back on track. A delay of even a year getting it right won’t be critical -the present WLLC will cope.