Retain diving facilities at Park Road Leisure Centre in Crouch End
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Haringey Council consulted with users of Crouch End's Park Road Leisure Centre prior to awarding a 20 year contract for the management of the centre to Fusion Lifestyle.
The plans shown throughout this consultation (and still shown on Haringey Council's website) indicated that in return for this substantial contract, Fusion Lifestyle would invest in improvements to facilities, including the introduction of a movable floor to the diving pool to enhance the flexibility of the facility.
To quote from the announcement of the awarding of the contract:
" 4. What improvements will take place in the facilities?
Plans for Park Road Leisure Centre include: refurbishment of the pool, a moveable floor for the diving pool, expansion of the gym, a health suite, three new studios, improvement works to the Lido, café relocation and complete redevelopment of the pool changing rooms."
Despite these clear assurances, Haringey Aquatics (the local swimming and diving club which is a key user of the diving pool) has recently been informed that Fusion have changed their plans and with the approval of Haringey Council, but without any meaningful consulation, now plan to remove diving facilities at Park Road.
The reasons given being (according to an email from Councillor Richard Watson on January 30th 2014) are as follows:
" If Fusion were to continue with putting in a moveable floor to the diving pit additional costs would be incurred [....]
If we left the diving pit as now then Fusion would be unable to meet the increased usage targets for the pools that were set for them."
Thus the council and Fusion appear to have engaged in bait-and-switch, offering one plan to the public for approval, involving enhancements to facilities, but then subsequently switching to another plan which would involve a reduction in the current facilities, with a complete loss of diving at Park Road, in order to meet financial targets.
The diving facilities have been at Park Road Pools for over 40 years. The facilities are used by members of the public, children & adults who have diving lessons and by two diving clubs who compete on a National level.
As well as for diving, the pool currently already has flexible use. Activities held in the diving pool include Lifesaving lessons, swimming lessons, Polo Team practise and water aerobics.
Diving offers a challenging and exciting sporting activity to children and adults alike, and is currently one of the sports at which Britain competes at the top international level. But for this to remain so, it is vital that grassroot facilities are preserved and enhanced. It is deeply ironic, in the context of Great Britain's push to build an Olympic legacy, that Haringey should be planning to close Park Road's diving facilities, and we call on Haringey Council and Fusion Leisure to reconsider their decision, and to meaningfully consult with users of the pool on this matter.
FAQs and notices regarding the contract award
Proposed layout of improvements, showing retention of diving boards along with a new movable floor
Details of £210,000 grant award from Mayor’s 2012 Legacy fund for "installation of the new movable floor and diving boards at Park Road Leisure Centre"
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