Hove MP hails success of petition for 50m swimming pool

Posted On 16 Dec 2013 at 9:42 am

More than 1,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the King Alfred to include a 50-metre swimming pool when the site is redeveloped.

Hove MP Mike Weatherley, who started the petition in October at the annual general meeting of Shiverers Swimming Club, had set a target of 1,000 signatures by Christmas.

He said: “It’s amazing that just a few days after calling on residents to help get 1,000 online signatures we’ve smashed that target.

“Let’s now push to get 2,000 signatures.

“More and more residents agree that it just makes long-term sense to provide children and adults in Brighton and Hove with the most flexible facilities.”

The club also has a paper petition, prompted by the publication by Brighton and Hove City Council of a specification to guide potential developers of the King Alfred site. The pool and other leisure facilities are expected to be funded by the building of more than 400 flats on the site.

The spec allows for a 25m pool but the competition standard is 50m. Swimmers from Brighton and Hove currently have to travel to pools in places such as Crawley, Guildford and London to train and compete in a 50m pool.

Mike Weatherley with Mark Cannon from Shiverers

Mike Weatherley with Mark Cannon from Shiverers

The club and its supporters, including Mr Weatherley, believe that a redeveloped King Alfred should include a 50m pool which can be divided into smaller areas like the K2 at Crawley.

When the online petition was started Shiverers chairman Mark Cannon said: “Thanks to all of you who have signed the petition in support of a 50m pool as part of the planned King Alfred redevelopment.

“There are enormous benefits in having such a flexible facility for the young and the old, the able and less able, the leisure and the competitive swimmer.

“This is a development that will benefit the entire community from teaching this most essential lifesaving skill to helping people recuperate after illness and injury.

“We know that, with the right design, these developments are not just affordable but are profitable too.

“We also know that more people would take part in swimming if the facilities were available.

“Plymouth, for example, planned for one million visitors in their world-class Sport England supported facility. They are getting 1.25 million.

“Let’s get behind this development and help our council leaders make the right decision – to have a 50m pool and with it a lasting legacy we can all be proud of.”

Mr Weatherley said: “The advantages of a dividable 50m swimming pool – with adjustable floors – include cost and flexibility.

“Parents, young swimmers, swimming groups and sports clubs have all backed the campaign for a dividable 50m facility.”

Supporters include the Olympic diver Chris Mears, the Amateur Swimming Association, Swimtrek, Brighton Swimming Centre, Brighton Swimming Club and the Dolphins Disabled Swimming Club.

Mr Weatherley added: “Crawley’s pool is used in its 50m configuration every morning and is packed during galas.

“Alongside this, residents of all abilities, including the elderly and young children, use the flexible pool for all sorts of different purposes.”

“It is abundantly clear that residents want a first-rate 50m swimming pool when the decrepit King Alfred is finally replaced.

“As well as embracing the Olympic legacy after the success of the London 2012 Games, it just makes long term sense to provide children and adults in Brighton and Hove with the most flexible facilities.”

To sign the online petition, click here.

The council said: “On (Friday) 8 November the council held a ‘developers day’ event aimed at early engagement with developers.

“At the event the council advised of the development priorities and progress during the past year and was able to gauge interest and hear views from industry specialists.

“The event, which was attended by 65 individuals representing some 40 organisations as part of 29 teams, proved very successful and allowed the council to outline the proposed procurement route and timetable.

“Detailed feedback gained from the event will help inform the procurement exercise that will begin in 2014.”

  1. Howard Reply

    I won’t be signing this, despite being a keen swimmer. 400 flats on this site is too many, and the KA site isn’t the place for a 50 metre pool. It is also very difficult to see a commercial developer delivering on this – a 50 metre pool was in the original Karis plans, but got dropped.

    A warning from less recent history: some 30 years ago the lido at Black Rock was demolished, on the promise of replacement facilities at the Marina that never materialised. The Black Rock site remains vacant. What’s the betting the King Alfred site remains a heap of rubble in 2020, or 2030 even?

    Let’s keep the KA as a local facility, develop the unused space around it, and build additional facilities elsewhere. Including a 50 metre pool – if the funds can be found.

  2. Howard Reply

    I won’t be signing this, despite being a keen swimmer. 400 flats on this site is too many, and the KA site isn’t the place for a 50 metre pool. It is also very difficult to see a commercial developer delivering on this – a 50 metre pool was in the original Karis plans, but got dropped.

    A warning from less recent history: some 30 years ago the lido at Black Rock was demolished, on the promise of replacement facilities at the Marina that never materialised. The Black Rock site remains vacant. What’s the betting the King Alfred site remains a heap of rubble in 2020, or 2030 even?

    Let’s keep the KA as a local facility, develop the unused space around it, and build additional facilities elsewhere. Including a 50 metre pool – if the funds can be found.

  3. HJarrs Reply

    Good news! Weatherley actually does something! Even better, I believe this may be his first campaign on local matters! It only took 3 years.

  4. HJarrs Reply

    Good news! Weatherley actually does something! Even better, I believe this may be his first campaign on local matters! It only took 3 years.

  5. saveHOVE Reply

    Sorry HJarrs, must set the record straight. Within a month of election, when asked to sign the saveHOVE petition to get BHCC to buy back the Connaught Centre from City College so it could be reinstated as an infant school for Central Hove, Mr. Weatherley even-handedly provided a public meeting in the gym at the school to discuss the issue.

    His Conservative councillor colleagues were against it. Brian Oxley sat muttering, red-faced, into his lap, ward cllr Jan Young was very, very cross and demanded to know why I was being applauded by a particular person who retorted “Why arn’t you applauding?”…… Former children’s Cllr lead in a Labour administration, Pat Hawkes clucked and muttered and regretted that Connaught had been awarded Grade 2 Listing. There were a lot of councillors there that day, mostly shellshocked Tories who were dumbfounded by this act of “disloyalty” to the Tory Administration only a month into being MP.

    At the end of the meeting he announced publicly that he would sign the petition and the rest is history. Connaught was not even on a short list at that point for new infant provision in central Hove.

    It is now a magnificently restored and in-use infant school…and it would not have become that without the instrumental campaigning support of MP, Mike Weatherley.

    Sadly the Olympic pool petition is unlikely to bear fruit as it does not stack up financially and I wonder how many of the signatories EVER even GO swimming, let alone doing olympic lengths.

  6. saveHOVE Reply

    Sorry HJarrs, must set the record straight. Within a month of election, when asked to sign the saveHOVE petition to get BHCC to buy back the Connaught Centre from City College so it could be reinstated as an infant school for Central Hove, Mr. Weatherley even-handedly provided a public meeting in the gym at the school to discuss the issue.

    His Conservative councillor colleagues were against it. Brian Oxley sat muttering, red-faced, into his lap, ward cllr Jan Young was very, very cross and demanded to know why I was being applauded by a particular person who retorted “Why arn’t you applauding?”…… Former children’s Cllr lead in a Labour administration, Pat Hawkes clucked and muttered and regretted that Connaught had been awarded Grade 2 Listing. There were a lot of councillors there that day, mostly shellshocked Tories who were dumbfounded by this act of “disloyalty” to the Tory Administration only a month into being MP.

    At the end of the meeting he announced publicly that he would sign the petition and the rest is history. Connaught was not even on a short list at that point for new infant provision in central Hove.

    It is now a magnificently restored and in-use infant school…and it would not have become that without the instrumental campaigning support of MP, Mike Weatherley.

    Sadly the Olympic pool petition is unlikely to bear fruit as it does not stack up financially and I wonder how many of the signatories EVER even GO swimming, let alone doing olympic lengths.

  7. HJarrs Reply

    SaveHove, I stand corrected!

  8. HJarrs Reply

    SaveHove, I stand corrected!

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