There has been much reference in your columns recently about the poor appearance of areas of the city by residents and visitors alike and Saltdean is no laggard on that score.
The Lido has been in a sorry state since the lease was taken back by the council, although the library and community rooms are as busy as ever.
The building is overdue its tri-annual exterior paint and the pumps need to be run from time to time to clear the pool water. This would greatly help the impression of abandonment to the passer-by.
Saltdean itself will benefit from a substantial sum, (known as section 106) £335,000 from the Ocean Hotel developers, to be used for the improvement of community facilities and open recreation space but this money must be allocated by the end of this financial year.
So why can some of this money not be used to bring the pool back into use?
We were informed at the consultation that the money cannot be spent on maintenance and on commercial interests ie the lido pool. The lease will, at the time of writing, be passed to the Community Interest Company (CIC) once lottery funding has been awarded but their ‘consultation’ event on August 9 as to how the money should be spent, but only on the building, raised more issues than answers.
When was it decided by the residents of Saltdean that all the s106 monies should be spent on the building? Was this a council decision? Why are they ignoring the ‘open recreation space’ element? The CIC lottery bid will not even go in until October so are the council sure that they will not be too late for the s106 money to be utilised by the CIC?
It is appreciated that the council are reluctant to be involved with the day-to-day running of the complex but could Wave Leisure who will, ultimately, be running the complex for the CIC, be approached for a short-term agreement to allow the pool to be brought back into use as soon as possible?
If not the pool will be closed for another three seasons whilst the commercial development of the site is taking place.
Trefor Hunter Chiltington Close Saltdean