Why The Kingfisher Leisure Centre must survive beyond today
I have listed below some of the things that make The Kingfisher Leisure Centre an asset of enormous community value, and which mean that councillors at tonight's Planning Committee should REFUSE the application to demolish the centre.
Why are Kingston tax payers being asked to bear unlimited costs of demolishing a community facility of such huge value with no guarantee of any replacement?
It is particularly important that the plans are refused without a simultaneous planning application to build a new centre. If a project for demolition only is approved, local tax payers will bear all the costs arising from delays and other necessary works if archaeological artefacts are discovered during demolition. A joint application to demolish and rebuild could ensure that costs are reasonably shared between all interested parties.
Provides opportunity for regular sporting activities for all residents. Teaches children and adults to swim and exercise. Educates people about the value of exercise and good health; Improves the health of the local population and especially residents from more deprived areas of Norbiton; provides swimming for social and recreational reasons with friends and family.
Healthy cost effective exercise which requires little equipment or cost.
The swimming pool is in a highly dense area, close to offices, shops, dwellings and schools so it provides an easy to access place of exercise for all. Is one of only TWO pools in the borough.The other pool is over 4km away at the Malden Centre.
All exercise helps in the fight against childhood obesity, improves mood and increases safety
around water. Competitive sport builds a sense of community, makes people healthier and fights obesity.
Kingston Royals Swimming Club allows children of all abilities and backgrounds to learn
to swim and to engage in competitive sport. The club is currently relying heavily on the use of a pool belonging to a private school in Hampton in the borough of Richmond and which is accessible only by a slow and unreliable bus ride from Kingston
Kingfisher Tri is a Kingston-based club that has used the Kingfisher for swimming training for 35 years and was started by employees at the Kingfisher Leisure Centre.
Lynn Hayes, Chair of Kingfisher Tri says:
“Kingfisher Tri is a triathlon club that was established in 1985 and has been swimming at the Kingfisher for 35 years
"Since the unexpected closure of the Kingfisher pool, our club has lost its most popular training session of the week. This Monday night coached session was attended regularly by 30-40 triathletes of all abilities. Losing this session could affect our viability as a club
"We have also not been able to find another pool that can take us for more than 3-4 weeks at a time. We recently took a 3-week slot at the Hurst Pool in Molesey whilst another club took a holiday break.
"This is not a sustainable situation”
Safe Play Area and Grounds
Enclosed play area for small children away from danger in the town centre. A place for children and parents to meet.
There are few playgrounds in this area which are safe for small children away from dogs, traffic and ball games. Enables children to get fresh air, enjoy a green space and have a picnic.
The nearest playground in the south is King Athelstan 1km away. In the north there is Elm Recreation Space and Canbury Gardens both over 1km away
Children’s parties and other meetings for small groups
Popular with groups of children and older adults. Safe, inexpensive rooms to hire. Increased
employment of students and young adults to run the parties.
Café and meeting area for all age groups
Helps with groups of post-natal mothers, older people and disabled who need accessible amenities and toilets.
Low-cost fitness and exercise Gym and Squash courts
Popular with all age groups and disabilities. There are no other council owned squash
courts in the borough. Private gyms can be too expensive for many residents
and especially those with low incomes. Helps in the fight against obesity and proven to
improve mental health.
Spa and sauna
This is a low-cost community amenity, helpful in relaxation and mental health issues for all age groups.