King Alfred 50m Pool – by Mike Weatherley MP

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When I first started campaigning for a new King Alfred Leisure Centre on the Hove seafront, calls for a new facility came flooding in from every quarter.

Grandparents looking for somewhere decent to take visiting family, active types hoping to improve their game, and lovers of our local built environment simply wishing to see a neglected part of town tidied up, all got behind the idea.

With the council thoroughly embarrassed into reinvigorating the scheme, we now have the opportunity to create a wonderful leisure facility for all, something that keeps our Olympic legacy alive – and I salute those councillors with a bit of vision who have already taken the trouble to grasp the arguments and really get behind the 50m campaign.

In a stark contrast to debates on, say, 20mph, the 50m pool issue does not divide opinion amongst the public. I surveyed the whole of my Hove and Portslade constituency and found that 93% back the campaign for a flexible 50m pool. Such a facility is actually cheaper than what the council proposes and brings many clear benefits including decent swimming galas.

The experts back the campaign too. Every local swimming organisation that I have come into contact with is on board. The Shiverers have been amazing as have the Dolphins Disabled Swimming Club, the ASA, Brighton Swimming Club, Swimtrek, Brighton Swimming Centre and Dolphins Swimming Club. We’ve even had backing from some of the country’s swimming heroes like Karen Pickering MBE and Olympic diver Chris Mears.

Our community campaign for a 50m facility includes a better kids’ pool than what council officers are pushing for – all for less cash. Adjustable booms and moveable floors, such as those in Worthing’s new Splashpoint, make such flexibility a reality.

Most importantly though, what does it say about Brighton & Hove if we can’t even build a decent pool for our residents and visitors? As one of the largest cities in the South-East, certainly the largest in Sussex, it would be frankly embarrassing if we don’t care enough about sports to provide a 50m pool.

That’s why I urge anybody who feels passionate about the issue to sign the petition: www.50mpool4hove.comWhen I first started campaigning for a new King Alfred Leisure Centre on the Hove seafront, calls for a new facility came flooding in from every quarter.

Grandparents looking for somewhere decent to take visiting family, active types hoping to improve their game, and lovers of our local built environment simply wishing to see a neglected part of town tidied up, all got behind the idea.

With the council thoroughly embarrassed into reinvigorating the scheme, we now have the opportunity to create a wonderful leisure facility for all, something that keeps our Olympic legacy alive – and I salute those councillors with a bit of vision who have already taken the trouble to grasp the arguments and really get behind the 50m campaign.

In a stark contrast to debates on, say, 20mph, the 50m pool issue does not divide opinion amongst the public. I surveyed the whole of my Hove and Portslade constituency and found that 93% back the campaign for a flexible 50m pool. Such a facility is actually cheaper than what the council proposes and brings many clear benefits including decent swimming galas.

The experts back the campaign too. Every local swimming organisation that I have come into contact with is on board. The Shiverers have been amazing as have the Dolphins Disabled Swimming Club, the ASA, Brighton Swimming Club, Swimtrek, Brighton Swimming Centre and Dolphins Swimming Club. We’ve even had backing from some of the country’s swimming heroes like Karen Pickering MBE and Olympic diver Chris Mears.

Our community campaign for a 50m facility includes a better kids’ pool than what council officers are pushing for – all for less cash. Adjustable booms and moveable floors, such as those in Worthing’s new Splashpoint, make such flexibility a reality.

Most importantly though, what does it say about Brighton & Hove if we can’t even build a decent pool for our residents and visitors? As one of the largest cities in the South-East, certainly the largest in Sussex, it would be frankly embarrassing if we don’t care enough about sports to provide a 50m pool.

That’s why I urge anybody who feels passionate about the issue to sign the petition: www.50mpool4hove.com

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