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Town paddling pool to close permanently

Melksham paddling pool

THE paddling pool in the park will not be opened this summer and it now looks like it could be closed for good.

The pool was closed by Wiltshire Council last year as it was deemed not fit for purpose and it has said it doesn’t have the money to open the pool this summer.

Melksham Town Council had looked into the possibility of re-opening the paddling pool but councillors voted on Monday night not to proceed with the plan but to explore other ideas.

Town councillors heard that it would cost £8,500 to refurbish and run the pool for the upcoming summer holidays.

With the pool affected by flooding every year by the nearby brook, councillors were concerned that the annual cost to maintain the pool to only have it open for six weeks of the year, was too high and not a sensible way to spend taxpayers’ money.

“It breaks my heart that we can’t open the paddling pool,” said mayor, cllr Adrienne Westbrook. “But I have to say that when you start looking at it rationally and the fact that it is only open for six weeks, I feel that it is too expensive.”

With plans in the pipeline to build a splash pad in King George V playing field at some future date, it was decided that the pool should be turned into another facility for children to enjoy.

“We could lay soft tarmac and create a playzone of some description and create an asset that is there all year round and will still be there when the splash pad arrives,” said deputy mayor, cllr Jon Hubbard. “We could do this with one or two years of funding that would be spent on a six week facility, producing a 52 week facility. We have got to create a facility for children to be able to play there.”

Town clerk Stephen Gray was tasked with collecting proposals for ideas for what to do with the paddling pool from manufacturers with the intention of having something ready for the summer holidays.