Lido could remain and air quality 'top priority' says new council leader - The Leamington Observer

Lido could remain and air quality 'top priority' says new council leader

Leamington Editorial 1st Jun, 2019   0

THE NEW leader of Warwick District Council says a lido could remain in Kenilworth and air quality is his ‘top priority’.

Andrew Day – who has been a Conservative councillor in Bishops Tachbrook since 2015 – spoke to the Observer about his new role as leader of the council, which is now ruled by a Conservative and Whitnash Residents Association alliance. The elections saw the Tories lose seats and other parties make gains in the council.

He says his main focus is on air quality and the environment, with the district consistently ranked among the worst in the UK by the World Health Organisation and warnings issued that the youngest and oldest in the communities are at risk.

Coun Day – who was born in Australia but moved to Leamington in 2006 after meeting his wife – said: “We have to focus on air quality. It does real damage to our health and children’s health. Our council would like to help the county turn these levels down, it is a real crisis and I want to focus on that in everything we are doing.

“I live in Bishops Tachbrook which has a population of 4,000 but will have an extra 2,000 over the next ten years.

“For every house that is built in the district under the local plan I want a new tree planted. This is because we need to realise how big we will be in the next four years.

“It breaks my heart to see trees felled and the environmental impact, I know planting new trees isn’t the same but it’s a start.”

The self-confessed nature lover – who once went swimming in the River Windrush in the Cotswolds – says he is looking into plans to remove Kenilworth Lido after a campaign was launched by locals.

As part of a plan to develop Abbey Fields, the previous council had planned to remove the lido and build a secondary indoor pool.

But now research is being carried out into the feasibility of turning it into a heated outdoor pool, although Coun Day says in line with air quality, the CO2 emissions which could be released may be an issue.

He said : “I want to see Kenilworth getting something great. We are doing research into a lido. I suspect a study would show an heated outdoor pool or lido would create a lot of CO2 which is against my main priority but we will see what the research lays out.

“In the parks coming to the area we will be looking at what opportunities will there be to put in wild swimming and swimming facilities for children.”

And while changes could be made to the lido, the next steps on the controversial council HQ and Creative Quarter include council briefings to bring members ‘up to date’.

He added: “Once we make some decisions we want to be more engaged in communicating and more open to public scrutiny as well.”

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