A WORKING party aiming to ensure upcoming leisure centre works are sustainable has been launched in a ‘surprise’ move by Warwick district leaders.
The move comes after a 2,100-signature petition from the Kenilworth Lido Campaign group urged Warwick District Council (WDC) to put improvement works to Abbey Fields Leisure Centre on hold, in order to reassess the decision to scrap the outdoor pool.
While the motion to reconsider the lido at Abbey Fields was rejected, the authority has set up the working party to ensure facilities – which also includes an overhaul of the town’s Castle Farm Recreation Centre – will be as ‘green’ as possible.
The works include the replacement of the outdoor pool with a second indoor pool – a plan which has been met with fierce opposition from Kenilworth residents.
The group argues keeping the lido would lessen the carbon footprint compared to that of the current plans to improve the centre.
They describe the existing plans as a ‘betrayal’ of the authority’s commitment for all public buildings to be carbon neutral by 2025.
A WDC spokeswoman said: “Warwick District councillors considered a motion from the Kenilworth Lido Campaign to pause the plans to demolish the current leisure facilities at Abbey Fields and not develop the site to provide two indoor swimming pools.
“This motion was comprehensively rejected by councillors but the council’s leader, Coun Andrew Day, has set-up a working group to ensure that the new facilities, which do not include an outdoor swimming pool, are as ‘green’ as they can possibly be.”
Despite the decision to reject the motion, the Kenilworth Lido Campaign group remains hopeful.
A spokesperson said: “The surprise manoeuvre by Coun Day, at the very beginning of the discussion, prevented a vote being taken on whether the 2,100 signature petition should be referred to Cabinet.
“The lido group will challenge this and will continue with its aims to refurbish the lido at the existing site, which will enable WDC and Everyone Active to achieve their carbon targets.”
Visit www.restorekenilworthlido.org for campaign updates.