Lib Dems refuse to commit to reopening of new Kingfisher swimming pool

The Lib Dem Council closed the Kingsfisher swimming pool in January 2020. They decided it would not reopen again as they refused to pay for the repairs to fix the roof.

In a flurry of spin, the Lib Dem Council leader announced in September that they would undertake a comprehensive redevelopment of the Kingsfisher site to raise funds for a new swimming pool. No one really believed their claims that they would get the pool open by 2023 but at a recent public meeting, there was a refusal from the Lib Dem Leader and Council officers to give a “cast-iron guarantee” that the pool would open on time.

Cllr Kevin Davis, Leader of the Opposition, said:

“This is a disaster for Kingston. It is only one month since they announced they were going to build a new pool and already the commitment to reopening is slipping. All we want is a guaranteed date when we can open a new one. This insistence on saying we can’t have a new pool unless the Council also builds more homes is unacceptable. If we have to wait till 2025 without a swimming pool that will be catastrophic for the health of both young and old residents.”

Cllr Ian George, the Conservative Spokesperson on Leisure, said:

“We know that swimming clubs are under lots of pressure to offer more classes and competitions. You have to question whether there will be any clubs left if we wait another 5 years without a pool. It is also difficult to understand how the Lib Dems have got themselves into such a mess over this. They need to stop playing property developer and just build us a pool.

STOP PRESS +++ New Malden pool delayed and rest of Borough goes without+++

The previous Conservative Council left a plan for three new pools for the borough. The Lib Dems have chosen to delay the building of a new pool for New Malden so they can reconsider it in the light of the need for a new Kingston pool at the Kingfisher. They appear to have decided to not even explore the option of a third pool in Chessington or Tolworth.

Cllr Kevin Davis said:

“We need more pools, but this Lib Dem Leader seems obsessed with only doing things in Kingston Town Centre. All the money is being spent there and meanwhile, Surbiton, Chessington and New Malden get nothing – these areas have become the forgotten parts of the borough. We need a Council that works for the whole Borough, not just the town centre and a Council Leader that understands how to consult and communicate with residents.