Local people urged to attend Lido meeting

15 June 2012

CAMPAIGNERS who are hoping to change Council plans for the new Afan Lido have said they are disappointed they haven’t been given more notice for the public meeting being held next week, but are urging local people to turn out to make their views heard.

Tough questions about the Lido plans were asked by members of the audience. Photo: Ingrid Bousquet

Tough questions about the Lido plans were asked by members of the audience at February's meeting. Photo: Ingrid Bousquet

The meeting has been arranged by the Council to discuss plans for the rebuilding of the Afan Lido sports complex and council officers plan to unveil the new proposals in an hour-long presentation.

But Robbie Williams, a committee member of Aberavon surf lifesaving club, who helped organise a well-attended public meeting in February to air local concerns about the plans, has said they have asked for the meeting to be deferred by a month so they can publicise it and ensure it is well attended.

“We think the meeting is at short notice so that it will be partially attended,” he said. “We are totally frustrated. I do not think all members are aware of this meeting, which was sprung on us yesterday morning.”

“We are questioning now whether there is a will to change the plans for the better.

“We feel it is all officer-led, based on flawed information. At present the cabinet will go on a visit to Haverfordwest on the 19thof June, have the meeting on the 20th, a Cabinet meeting and vote on the 26th – all to tick boxes – and that will be job done.

“How can this be a professional consultation? We have asked the meeting is deferred a month – we live in hope.”

Campaigners had criticised the Council’s first proposals, which included a six-lane swimming pool and a small sports hall for dry side sports at a cost of £13m. They wanted an eight-lane pool suitable for competition swimming, more dry-side facilities, all weather pitches and provision for spectators, and said it could be delivered for £9.25m.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday 20June at 6.30pm at the Princess Royal Theatre, Port Talbot, and is open to members of the public, businesses, groups and any other interested parties.

The council has confirmed that senior council officers will make a presentation which will include proposals for the facilities to be provided, and said the proposals have been informed by consultation responses from a wide range of stakeholders.

A council spokesperson explained that the project will be a major boost for the area.

They said: “This meeting delivers on the Council’s commitment to consult various community groups and other interested parties as final proposals will be put to Councillors shortly. We would encourage people to attend the meeting to hear the council’s plans for the new attraction which, we believe, will provide first class leisure facilities for residents and visitors whilst supporting the existing businesses and the wider regeneration of Aberavon sea front”.

The doors will open at 6.00pm, and the meeting is scheduled to last approximately one hour. Booking is not necessary.

 

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Sally Wainman says:

This is the kind of stunt councils pull when they have no intention of listening to local views: their plans are probably much more advanced than people think and the “consultation” will be a rubber stamping of what has already been decided. This is a deeply frustrating situation when so much more seemed to be promised after the fire.