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Paddling pool in Guildford's Stoke Park will not open this summer

2 minute read
Paddling pool in Guildford's Stoke Park will not open this summer

Published at 3:00pm 15th July 2020.

Guildford Borough Council has announced the paddling pool in Stoke Park will not open this summer. 

Under new government guidance outdoor pools are allowed to welcome visitors again. 

However, the Borough Council says it cannot make the area coronavirus secure without incurring substantial extra costs of around £23,000 on top of running costs for what is now the last five to six weeks of the season. 

Lead Councillor for the Environment, Cllr James Steel provided an update on the borough’s leisure facilities:

"We know how much you love our borough’s popular free attraction and we have not taken this decision lightly.

"We completely understand how disappointing this news is too many of you looking forward to visiting the paddling pool in the holidays but after reviewing the guidance and how safety measures would work in such a regularly crowded area, we found the risk to your health and the extra costs are too high. 

"At this point in the pandemic, where we have already set aside an emergency budget of £15million to ensure we can maintain your essential services, we are unable to justify this additional spend which is needed to adhere to government requirements to control visitor numbers, as we would need additional staff, ticketing and site security measures.

“Once again we understand it is disappointing news to hear our paddling pool won’t open this summer and we hope that you can understand why we have taken this decision.

"Please rest assured your safety, protecting our vulnerable communities and maintaining your essential services remain our priority – the Coronavirus (Covid 19) hasn’t gone away and we must keep to the guidance and keep Guildford safe to avoid any health protection lockdowns that other areas of the UK have experienced.”