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Process under way to programme new pools for ChCh

Process under way to programme new pools for Christchurch

Christchurch City Council has begun a process to help the elected members decide where new swimming and associated leisure facilities will be built.

Alan Bywater, the Council¡¯s leisure planning team leader, says in the past the City Council has had various appeals from organisations wanting a new pool and leisure centre in their part of the city. In response, the Council decided last year that a city-wide analysis was needed. The project aims therefore to fill information gaps and give the city councillors useful ways of balancing those competing interests.

¡°One example of where we¡¯re looking for more complete information is from schools and other potential providers. We need to find out more about what plans city schools have for teaching swimming and things like how long they think their own pools will last before needing replacement and whether they¡¯d consider using a city facility instead,¡± Mr Bywater says. ¡±We¡¯re also in touch with neighbouring councils to find out if they have plans to build or know of anything which could have an impact on what¡¯s being planned inside the city boundaries.¡±

Also being examined as part of the project is the state of the Council¡¯s smaller pools and related work which is already programmed, including the upgrade of the indoor facilites at Jellie Park.

Mr Bywater says no decisions have been made yet. ¡°The staff report to Council will suggest that it consider a temporary change in the way we manage the five suburban pools ¨C the Belfast, Papanui, Edgeware, Woolston and Templeton outdoor pools. Over the last summer we had many comments about the short opening season and we believe that within the existing budget there are ways to give better service next summer.¡±

The wider project will provide opportunities for public input, he says. ¡°At the moment we¡¯re simply getting information together and developing models to help the elected members¡¯ decision-making. If I have one message now it¡¯s that we¡¯d like any interested individuals or groups to contact us so we can keep them informed about the project.¡±

The project team has begun to contact the groups and organisations which are expected to take an interest in the development of any new city pools and has set up an email account ¨C aquatic@ccc.govt.nz -- for anyone wishing to register their interest.

City Councillors and the chairpersons of the Community Boards were briefed about the project today. The city councillor portfolio group working with the staff on this project includes councillors Graham Condon, Anna Crighton, Norm Withers and David Cox.

¡ñ Anyone wanting to register an interest in pool development should email aquatic@ccc.govt.nz or call Project Assistant Jacqui Baars on 941 8999

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