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‘Splash pad’ could replace unfit paddling pool

THE paddling pool in King GeorgeV park will be in deep water next year after it was deemed beyond repair, but Melksham Town Council is hoping to replace it with an improved facility.

Wiltshire Council will stop looking after the pool next year when budget cuts set in, and will offer the responsibility to Melksham Town Council. The town council has said that it won’t maintain the pool in its current state, but is looking into installing a new ‘Splash Pad’ play area in its place.

Both councils now consider the pool to be unusable and Wiltshire Council spokesperson, Allan Clarke, said general maintenance would no longer be sufficient and replacing it is now the only option.

Following discussions at a recent meeting, Melksham’s policy and resources committee agreed that the town council should  abandon the paddling pool and look into replacing it with another wet play area, such as a ‘Splash Pad’ similar to the £85,000 installation in Chippenham’s John Coles Park.

Town clerk Stephen Gray told Melksham News, “The council’s view is that the paddling pool is not fit for purpose in its current state. The pool is believed to have been installed just after the war, and the surfaces have degenerated to such an extent that it presents a lot of health and safety concerns.”

At a meeting in November town councillor Pamela Wiltshire encouraged replacing the pool and said that a lot of people would be upset if it was taken away and nothing put in its place. Cllr Wiltshire said that the paddling pool was a well-used and loved facility, and that people would likely travel to other towns to use one if it was taken away.

The committee then voted to recommend that the town council explores the cost of providing a new wet play facility, and that  the potential cost is confirmed by March next year.

The committee’s recommendation will now go to a vote at the full town council, where a decision will be made.