'Demolition of Splashes Begins - but there are still many unanswered questions' - say Medway Liberal Democrats
By Stuart Bourne for Medway Liberal Democrats
Medway Liberal Democrats are pleased that the demolition has finally begun on the Splashes leisure centre in Rainham after a large delay. Though it is sad to see a place that has given so many happy memories to a lot of Medway residents, the demolition is the first stage of Medway Councils new project to replace Splashes with a new leisure pool after the original building was found to be unsafe.
Medway Liberal Democrats have always supported the project as there are little or no leisure or sports facilities for the ever growing Rainham and Twydall populations, with people being forced to travel all the way to Gillingham or even Sittingbourne to swim or use gym equipment. However, there are still so many questions that the Conservative administration and the local councillors have failed to answer. What is
the current timetable for the completion of the project? Will there be a consultation process to allow local residents the opportunity to comment on the proposed design? What is the current budget for the project and where will the money come from? How will it impact the adjoining Cozenton Park? And most importantly, what controls will be put in place on its maintenance budget to stop the new building being put into disrepair and being pulled down decades later like the old one?
Stuart Bourne, Medway Liberal Democrat's spokesperson for Rainham said 'Though I'm glad work has finally started on the Splashes demolition, it is tinged with sadness. I have a lot wonderful memories going there, both as a child and taking my own children for their first swims. Now we just have to make sure
what is rebuilt on the site is good enough to create more happy memories for other people. This requires Medway Council and the Rainham councillors to engage with its residents and listen to their needs.'
These questions need answering if Medway Council wants to get the public on board and make this project is a success. This is why the Medway Liberal Democrats continue to call for them to run regular resident forums, where the public will be able to quiz council officers and councillors and give their feedback to them. We also call on them to work with the local community groups, such as the Friends of Cozenton Park, to identify how it impacts the surrounding community.
We need Medway Council to honour the memory of those special moments people spent at Splashes, and ensure its replace is right for Rainham and not just right for the Council.