Sink or swim for pool

ALDERNEY visitors and residents are throwing their weight behind what’s been termed a ‘sink or swim’ effort to finally persuade the States to fund a community pool.

A computer generated image of what the covered swimming pool would look like.
A computer generated image of what the covered swimming pool would look like.

ALDERNEY visitors and residents are throwing their weight behind what’s been termed a ‘sink or swim’ effort to finally persuade the States to fund a community pool.

A petition has gone out to parents, supermarket Le Cocq’s, the Tourist Information Office, both newspaper offices and the airport.

Earlier this month the Policy Committee turned down a funding application by the Alderney Sports and Community Trust, which requested a maximum grant of £400,000 to build a small covered indoor pool on the site of an outdoor facility in the grounds of St Anne’s School, as well £12,000 per year towards running costs.

ASCT chairman Kerry Wedd said: ‘The States indicated there was no appetite for the project. Our petition is simply to confirm for the trustees that there is indeed an appetite for it among islanders and visitors.

‘This is a pool that is scaled down to meet the needs of our small island. The running costs will be minimal, thanks to solar panels and mostly volunteer staff on duty, and thanks to its location, Guernsey’s Education Department has already verbally agreed to a significant contribution to running costs.’

He added: ‘If you want a swimming pool, tell us. Don’t stay silent.’

Mr Wedd said he was meeting individual States members for advice on a business plan so it could be put before them again in April.

St Anne’s head teacher Michael Gaunt said: ‘I am fully behind the suggestion that a pool is built on the site of the current pool, as it would enhance provision for students while preserving the learning capacity of the current pool’s provision.

‘It’s a brilliant opportunity to extend the provision to all of the population and the benefits could be far-reaching.’

Richard Proctor, manager of Braye Beach Hotel, commented:  ‘My view is that it would be an exceptionally valuable facility for this small island, where we have inclement weather, and it would certainly be very useful as a form of entertainment for all our guests at Braye Beach Hotel.’

But Neil Harvey, chairman of the Business Development, Tourism and Marketing Committee, indicated that there was still work to be done on convincing members to fund the project.

He said: ‘Undoubtedly, an indoor swimming pool would be a useful attraction to visiting families on wet days. However, as ever, funding is the main issue and value to tourism alone would not outweigh the arguments against full state funding.’

* Go to www.swimalderney.org for the e-petition.

Comments for: "Sink or swim for pool"

Rees Bryant

This is not just for wet days it is for use all year by residents and visitors.

And will be of far more value that the £50,000 that Mr Harvey plans to spend on advertising Alderney as a wild life centre. That may have worked in Yorkshire, which visitors can drive to, but it takes more than a car to get to Alderney. And cost a lot more.

caroline ely

Cannot believe that the States are continuing to go ahead with the building of a £650k harbour office which could be achieved by putting portacabins on the site, but they cannot provide the support for the Alderney Swimming Pool project. There are a lot of us in Alderney who find it too cold to swim in the sea because of various problems, arthritis being one of them and a pool would provide a lot of help. Apart from the fact of being able to keep fit as you can nearly every where else in a civised society by using a swimming pool. Please start to get real Alderney States,!!!!! We voted you in, now do the necessary!!!

Concerned ratepayer

Would the people of Alderney prefer to have clean, non leaking water. quality social housing, decently surfaced roads, or spend the limited capital available on a swimming pool which is highly unlikely to pay its way? Woould the Alderney residents be prepared to pay substantially more rates in order to fund the running costs, or give up much of such services as are now provided? You cannot have the cake and eat it too.

island girl

Decently surfaced roads? Well when they arent being dug up, just after the tarmac has been laid !!! I believe that the plan for this pool is that it will be manned on a voluntary basis so that costs will be minimal.