After closing the Kingfisher Leisure Centre in Kingston in 2019, the LibDem-run council finally admitted on 8th March that the replacement will not be built anytime soon. This announcement of a further long delay follows on from previous reports of poor decision making and budgets spiralling out of control.
The much-loved Kingfisher Leisure Centre was closed Dec 2019 due to issues with the roof. At the time Councillors were given the options of repairing the roof for £5.3m or a replacement for £39.7m with a promise the new would be completed by the third quarter 2023.
Since starting the project the LibDem-run council has seen costs double from £39.7 million to £79.5 million. Despite achieving nothing, the LibDems have cost the Council Taxpayer £3.7m in demolition and design costs.
Residents have been without a pool in Kingston for over three years and there are currently no plans and no timeframe for when we will have one. We risk a generation of children not learning how to swim properly. Not all families can afford expensive gym memberships.
Kingston council did not put the redevelopment out to tender until after demolition and tenders were returned this January giving a real cost of £79.5m, double what was promised - and the LibDems are now back at the drawing board.
The LibDem Administration have refused to take responsibility or apologise to residents. Instead they have avoided scrutiny and tried to suppress awkward questions. Five Lib Dem Councillors, including the Leader of the Council, even voted against letting the public finish asking questions at Place Committee on 21 March.
This just is not good enough. Kingston now only has one open public pool in the whole Borough in New Malden, which is not nearly enough for over 170,000 residents.
Rowena and Ian working hard to hold the council to account on this. Please sign our petition below o help ensure that residents get the leisure centre they need. and we will be able to keep you updated.