It's a rather old pool, build in the 1930's and the council can't keep up the maintenance costs which can be over £10,000 per year. Friends of the Park have been pleading with the council to keep it open for one more year whilst they try to raise funds of £270,000 to replace the pool.
The council are backing the project but say they will only donate 10% of the funds if the remainder can be raised. The Splash Pad has been fully costed and surveyed and would be ready to be built on receipt of the funds. The new Splash Pad would be more efficient, cleaner, safer and benefit from a remote facility to turn the water jets on giving the community more flexibility of opening times.
The council in question is Merton council - slightly confusingly, this is the one bit of the local area not in either Sutton, Kingston or Epsom & Ewell. Technically it's Motspur Park (so not actually WP) - and a short walk from Motspur Park station.
Back to the main issue now - Today therefore sees the launch of the campaign to raise the funds for the new Splash Pad. The 'Splashdance' campaign launch (beginning at 2pm) will feature local West End Choreographer, Lizzi Gee, who will be teaching the community a “Splash Dance” in the disused paddling pool. Organisers will be inviting members of the community to show their support for the pool by learning the “Splash Dance” and teaching it to their friends. SWL TV will be filming the event and there will be prizes for the most enthusiastic community Splash Dancers. There will also be other goodies and attractions to entice you (and the kids) down (or is it up?)
Friend of Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Fields, Sarah Thorne said:
“We would love to see all the people in the surrounding boroughs who have ever made use of this wonderful facility come together to take positive action. We have already had a petition with over 1000 names for the council to fund a Splash Pad here, but as we are utilised by other boroughs outside of Merton, it seems the council do not want to fund the Splash Pad here. This park is surrounded by numerous schools, youth groups, families with young children not to mention those who have used the pool for generations and now have grandchildren of their own who want to use it. If we don’t act now then the pool will inevitably close and be filled in. This will be one less facility to draw children into the open-air keeping them active, alert and engaged. We want to show people that we aren’t going to just give in.
The Community can continue to show the council and potential funders that we need this facility by joining in our Splash Dance campaign. If they can’t come to the event then they can Like and share our Facebook page where they will also be able to learn the “Splash Dance” if they miss it live. We want to get people to demonstrate that we need this facility and this seems like an active and fun way to get some further engagement. At the very minimum we hope to persuade the council to re-open the pool for one last Summer to remind people what we will be missing”
So if you want to see the aquatic facilities continue, or even if you're just at a loose end this afternoon, please pop down and support the cause for local children.