Two Brighton and Hove seafront paddling pools out of action over bank holiday weekend

Posted On 26 May 2018 at 8:16 pm

A Conservative councillor has spoken out after it emerged that two seafront paddling pools would be out of action over the bank holiday weekend.

Seafront boss Toni Manuel wrote to councillors with the news yesterday afternoon (Friday 25 May).

The Brighton and Hove City Council seafront development manager said that both pools had failed water quality tests.

Councillor Robert Nemeth, who represents Wish Ward in Hove, said: “Councillor Garry Peltzer Dunn and I are hugely disappointed that Hove Lagoon’s pool is to be out of action during what should be one of the busiest weekends of the year.

“The mind boggles as to why the checks weren’t carried out a day or two earlier so that any problems could be remedied in advance.

“I imagine that it will be equally detrimental to those businesses on the Brighton seafront.

“This is yet another example of the Labour administration neglecting the basics to the detriment of local residents and our local tourism industry.

“I can’t recall a time when the city was more broken, dirty and graffiti-ridden.”

The email from Toni Manuel said: “I wanted to update you on the latest situation regarding the paddling pool facilities along our seafront.

“As you will be aware major work to the underground pipework at the King’s Road Paddling pool has been ongoing since early April.

“Despite the tight timescales for this project, I can report that the contractor is due to complete this work and be off site by the end of today as planned.

“Unfortunately, despite everyone’s best efforts, our leisure operator Freedom Leisure has reported to us today that the water quality test taken earlier this week and which is required in order to open the facility has failed due to bacteriological contamination.

“As a result, the paddling pool is currently being drained and will be chemically treated and refilled over the weekend.

“A new test will be taken on Tuesday and, subject to a satisfactory result, the pool should be reopened to the public on Thursday.

“The paddling pool at Hove Lagoon, which has been operational since early May, has recently had the first of the required monthly water tests.

“Unfortunately, this first test has failed due to bacteriological contamination.

“It is impossible to know where this contamination has come from – it could be from birds, dogs or human contamination – but the procedure to cleanse the water in order to reopen the paddling pool is the same as above.

Councillor Robert Nemeth

“This procedure has been completed and the retest has been undertaken today.

“The water test requires 48 hours of incubation before the results can be confirmed which means that due to the bank holiday weekend the earliest the test results will be known is Tuesday.

“If the test results show the contamination has been eradicated then the paddling pool will reopen on Tuesday.

“The safety and hygiene of all our leisure facilities is of paramount importance to the council which is why we insist upon regular independent bacteriological testing on top of the daily testing regimes.

“This situation is by no means ideal and is not what we would have hoped for over the bank holiday weekend and half-term holiday but unfortunately there is nothing further which can be done to expedite the pool openings.

“The press office are aware of the situation are responding to inquires on social media while the Freedom Leisure staff and council seafront officers will be available to communicate this information to members of the public and businesses on site over the coming days.

“The pools are physically closed off with fencing and signage to advise the public not to enter the water.”



  1. Terry Wing Reply

    I’m going to have to stand as a candidate again at the next Local Elections, our Council has lost the plot! I didn’t win the last time but I had the highest ‘Independent Candidate’ vote results and I was pleased with that.

  2. Mike Attree Reply

    Maybe I’m just an ignorant pleb but, surely, given that the Bank Holiday wasn’t exactly suddenly sprung upon them, the Council should have got this work done well in advance. In layman’s terms, it’s called “preparation”…

  3. Jenny Mulligan Reply

    Perhaps if Robert Nemeth and his Tory chums stuck up for Brighton and Hove and fought cuts to local services as their Tory colleagues in East & West Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire have done, they’d be more money. But no. They do nothing but stick their heads in the sand as their Governments savage cuts decimate Local Authority grants. Save coming up for air to snipe.

    • Robert Nemeth Reply

      What a bizarre reply. If up to me, I would have saved when times were good so that cuts to everything weren’t necessary. It’s basic stuff – don’t overspend when there’s a surplus. It’s pretty irrelevant here though. They should have just done the inspections two days earlier.

  4. Charlie Papworth Reply

    I’m glad they discovered the contamination and it’s being sorted… the thought of sick children is horrific. An issue that hopefully won’t happen again.

  5. Myrtle Reply

    While I’m not sure it’s fair to blame the Labour councillors, it’s nothing to do with cuts or finance and everything to do with timing. In that respect at least, the councillor is right. They should have tested the water a few days earlier in case it was contaminated. Given it’s open air in a place where there are plenty of dogs and seagulls and not a few seemingly incontinent adults, it’s hardly rocket science.

  6. John Nugent Reply

    The Tory councillor has not bothered to investigate this matter fully. He’s using the pto advance his own political interests. When he does take time fully to investigate the facts, he will find his assumptions are totally wrong. But why let facts get in the way of politics?

  7. Lynne Moore Reply

    The Kings Road paddling pool was out of action during the last hot Bank Holiday as well. How difficult is it to employ contractors to do any work required before the season starts? Too difficult for this Council!

  8. SamC Reply

    “our leisure operator Freedom Leisure” is amesturish, bumbling and incompetent. Surprised they even knew how to test water for bacteriological contamination. Take one look at the state of the King Alfred inside. Falls far short of Sports England Guidance for minimum safety standards. Further, staff that have not TUPE’d from BHCC are on zero hours contracts with full knowledge and endorsement of this Labour Council. BHCC does not hold Freedom leisure to account on anything, much to the detriment of the citizens of this city and many of its staff.

  9. Fishwife, 49 Reply

    So the two pools on the seafront are out of action because the contractors have “suddenly” discovered that the water’s dirty, and the water park at the Level is out of action because the (same) contractors have discovered that the pump “suddenly” doesn’t work. Does the “freedom” in “Freedom Leisure” mean “freedom from responsibility to make the most basic preparations”? If so, why doesn’t it also mean “freedom from being paid significant amounts of council tax payers’ money, when it’s clear they’re not able to fulfil their side of the contract”?

  10. Andy B Reply

    Although a pain, no pools operational over the Bank Holiday, count yourselves lucky you have pools. We have no paddling pools in Croydon, all ripped up years ago by greedy Croydon Council.

  11. Neensyh Reply

    Is the Kings Road pool back open now? (Sat 9th June)

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