Clarence Valley Independent

Ulmarra residents continue fight to reopen pool

Geoff Helisma |

It seemed like a done deal: after a comprehensive public consultation and the adoption of the Bailey Park Master Plan at the September council meeting, what could go wrong?

A lot, according to the town’s residents association, Ulmarra Village Inc, – president Steve Pickering says that CVC has misled the town about the immediate future of its ailing and currently closed swimming pool.

Councillors were split on closing the pool in December 2016 when they voted 5-4 to close it at the end of the 2016/17 swimming season: councillors Toms, Williamson, Baker, Kingsley and Lysaught voted to close the pool; councillors Simmons, Ellem, Clancy and Novak were opposed.

At next week’s CVC meeting, councillors will consider the staff’s recommendation to fill the pool, demolish the change rooms, remove the perimeter fence and prepare the site for future work in accordance with the master plan.

Mr Pickering insists that, prior to the master plan’s completion, a CVC “representative of Open Spaces stood up [at the third Ulmarra bypass plan meeting] and said there was no need to [fill the pool] as there was only a budget to upgrade the playground equipment and there were no definitive plans in place to redevelop the pool site”.

“If I hadn’t had the foresight to read the Corporate, Governance & Works Committee meeting agenda [which was held yesterday] I would never have known that council was so intent on destroying our pool without even giving the community the chance to have it reopened,” he wrote in a letter to the mayor and councillors.

The master plan specifies “decommissioning” the swimming pool by removing it and filling the hole. Similarly, the master plan specifies the removal of the associated “footpaths, amenities and … onsite sewer” to prepare the site for “alternate use of the space and [the] opportunity for repurposing the infrastructure”.

Mr Pickering told the Independent that the community “overwhelmingly wants the pool reopened”.

“We have formed a community group to lobby for it to reopen,” he said.

“We were told nothing would happen with the pool site because there is no funding.

“It seems like they are rushing the item through council to get the pool removed even though there is no funding to redevelop the site.”

The report to council recommends the allocation of $35,000 from the general fund for the proposed works.

In his letter, Mr Pickering pleads with councillors to “put a stop to this item and vote it down”.

“I feel the community needs time to formulate a plan,” he wrote.

Mr Pickering made a deputation at yesterday’s Corporate, Governance and Works Committee meeting.

Share this post

PinIt

Now you’re here …

… the Independent would like to ask for your support. The community is reading our paper more than ever and embracing the content we produce, but advertising revenues across the media as a whole, are falling. Unlike other news organizations we do not charge for our publication – so, to keep our community connected and deliver the local news to your door we would like to ask for your help..... to keep the Independent bringing you all the local community news takes a lot of time, hard work and people power, But we do it because we believe our presence matters – who else tells it how it is, where it is, and what it is.

If you like our journalism, if you like the community news, if you like our sports coverage we would love it if you could help fund it, our future may depend on it. For as little as $5, you can support the Independent – Thank you.


ADVERTISEMENT

FOLLOW ON FACEBOOK

Facebook By Weblizar Powered By Weblizar

instagram