Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Leith Waterworld (a) Progress on Community Bid and (b) Potential Sale of Leith Waterworld

I'm acutely conscious of the level of interest in the upcoming debate tomorrow, in relation to the future of Leith Waterworld ...

... and, of course, there will undoubtedly be deputations and robust political exchanges across the Chamber - all before any final vote is taken.

But, in the interests of being as open and frank about all of this as possible, my personal view is that its best that I publish the current Coalition-position (far below) and the aligned News Release (immediately below) which will - absolutely undoubtedly - both get into the public domain today anyhow.

I know, only too well, that this decision will be a huge disappointment to many campaigners - and I'm not going to pretend their frustration, annoyance, and likely anger isn't very real and/or understandable ... but I do hope that people can also try and place themselves in our shoes and see that we have had a very difficult choice to make here, and have tried to ensure wider (and longer term) positives beyond the use of the Leith Waterworld building itself  ...


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NEWS RELEASE


CAPITAL COALITION PUTS FORWARD MOTION ON LEITH WATERWORLD
The City of Edinburgh Council is set to consider a motion put forward by the Capital Coalition proposing to sell Leith Waterworld to A&G Property Group for £1m to create a substantial soft play and leisure facility.

The coalition motion also proposes to allocate £125,000 to fund swimming programmes for primary school children in Edinburgh – in recognition of Splashback’s commitment to making swimming accessible and affordable. This motion will be presented tomorrow (Thursday 30 May) at a meeting of the City of Edinburgh Council where they will consider two reports, one on the potential sale of Leith Waterworld and one containing an update on the progress of the community bid.

A&G Property Group have offered to purchase Leith Waterworld for £1m from the Council and propose to spend around £1.3m on refurbishing the building. Their offer would also see over 80 jobs created in the local area.

Councillor Richard Lewis, the city’s Culture and Sport Convener, said: “This has been a very difficult decision and one that this Council does not take lightly. Firstly I’d like to thank Splashback for the work and commitment they have demonstrated in progressing the community bid. However this coalition feels that the potential purchaser will create a high quality leisure facility that will greatly benefit the community in Leith and the wider Edinburgh area.

“In recognition of Splashback’s commitment to creating affordable and accessible swimming opportunities for young people in the community, we’re proposing to commit £125,000 towards free swimming for primary aged children in Edinburgh.
“Ultimately this option ensures that the community in Leith has an accessible leisure facility for many years to come, that swimming opportunities are available and also that the Council gets best value for the taxpayers of Edinburgh.”

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MOTION by the CAPITAL COALITION

Item No. 8.2 (a) & (b)

Report Title: Leith Waterworld (a) Progress on Community Bid and (b) Potential Sale of Leith Waterworld

1)       Council notes the progress on the Community Bid for Leith Waterworld detailed in report number 8.2(a) and thanks all members of the Working Group (comprising Splashback, elected members and officers) for their significant efforts.

2)        Council notes the bid for Leith Waterworld from A&G Property Group detailed in report number 8.2(b) in order to convert it to provide a high quality soft play leisure facility.

3)        Council notes that the potential purchaser is committed to satisfying any suspensive conditions and concluding the purchase of the property within 60 days of Council approval of the sale being given.  And, as paragraph 2.8 of report number 8.2(b) concludes, this means that the missives which will be put in place for the sale of the property will incorporate safeguards to ensure that the proposed leisure facility is created within a specific timescale.  The Council will thereafter rigorously monitor the agreed timescale.
 
4)        Council therefore reluctantly agrees to conclude further development of the Community Bid and:

(a)       to sell Leith Waterworld to A&G Property Group for £1m for the creation of a substantial soft play and leisure facility;

(b)       to include the Council’s interest as landlord in the long ground lease to Tesco over the adjoining store car park; and

(c)        to approve the sale in accordance with the terms set out in report number 8.2(b) and on such other terms and conditions as to be approved by the Finance and Budget Committee.

(d)       to ensure ongoing dialogue with A&G Property Group in order to maximise any community benefits that may accrue from their development, such as local employment opportunities and community access arrangements.

5)        Recognising Splashback’s commitment to make swimming accessible and affordable for children across the city, Council further agrees, in accordance with the earlier decision of 31 January 2013, to proceed with the release of £125,000 from Corporate funds in the current 2013/14 financial year; these monies now to be ring-fenced to fund a ‘Culture & Sport-led programme’ of free swimming opportunities for primary aged children in Edinburgh, and other free swimming initiatives; and that the impact of these programmes will be monitored and assessed.



Moved by                   Councillor Richard Lewis

Seconded by              Councillor Norma Austin Hart


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49 comments:

fryer said...

I'm assuming Andrew you don't go to the commonwealth pool and have to queue with your kids EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND for at least half an hour to use the kids pool. You have to drive out of Edinburgh to get a pool warm enough for young childern as all the rest are too cold even with suits on.

This is a joke.

Anonymous said...

This is devastating news - so much for a co-operative Council! I'll certainly continue to spend my money in Midlothian Council by visiting Loanhead pool which is by far better than any of Edinburgh Council's pools. At least it's warm, there are toys for kids to play with and a wee shoot for some sort of fun.
Disappointed indeed - what a waste of the Splashback campaign's and Council officer time

Anonymous said...

This is a shameful decision - please reconsider.

EF in Edinburgh said...

I have written to my councillors to let them know that I strongly disagree with the proposed motion to sell Leith Waterworld to the A&G Property Group.

I would like the council to continue to work with the community group Splashback and others to develop a plan to reopen the pool as a leisure pool -- one particularly suitable for use by people with disabilities, and families who want to have fun together. None of the other pools in Edinburgh is a suitable substitute, and if the current site is sold, it will be very hard to replace.

I have recently returned from a short break at Center Parcs, where my children and I enjoyed time together in a pool with flumes, waves etc. It made us miss Waterworld. I realised then that we haven't been swimming together in Edinburgh since Waterworld closed. This is a great shame.

The opportunity to reopen Waterworld as a facility for the whole community is one that should not be wasted.

Amy Reilly said...

This is a dreadful decision which will not do the council any favours in the eyes of families. It is embarrassing that Edinburgh doesn't have a decent fun pool, we are the capital city! We have to travel to East, Mid or West Lothian to get a good warm family pool to take small children swimming. There are already four or five soft plays within a mile or so of Leith, another one is not needed! I just cannot see the sense in this decision, so am drawing the conclusion there must be some ulterior motives at play. Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Loanhead is great and Perth is great also, but edinburgh cant manage one childrens fun/learning pool which is essential to building confidence. Other services are duplicated in a small area. Leith Victoria and glenochil pool do the same thing in a walkable distance from each other. Wake up and remember who your working for, the pool was clearly intentionally run bad before it closed to show bad figures anyone who was there regularly could see they were not trying to make use of the extra potential revenue, this look again like councilors dining with business and banking friends and not looking after their constituents needs. Give someone a chance to do it right.

Aileen in Edinburgh said...

Disgraceful. So families with young children will always have to travel outside of our 'Inspiring Capital' (ha) to access decent facilities - the new commonwealth pool is a joke with no shallow play space and is stupidly overcrowded, and as has been pointed out there is nowhere else warm enough to take small children. As for the teenagers who used Waterworld, well, no great interest in / access to soft play there really is there?! I'm beyond disgusted with this turn of events from a council who clearly don't care about the people they're supposed to represent.

Jo Findlay said...

You should be ashamed of yourselves. A quick non sustainable fix and a token of free swimming for a little while but who do you think you're fooling, that won't last long.

Another leisure centre but plugged as a substantial soft play is not what Leith or Edinburgh needs, we have those already. What you're seeing is £££ and trying to label it as a benefit. Awful decision. Wasted so many peoples time and crushed the hopes and spirit of the people you're supposed to be representing. Lazy, short-sighted waste of space. You may now leave!

Andrew said...

Thanks for all the comments. I am (will) read through them all very carefully. I do know, only too well, this is a controversial decision.

As you can see, I have a completely unmoderated approach to comments on the blog - all I ever ask is that posts are kept civil, even if we may strongly disagree.

Many thanks again for all your feedback on this issue.

Andrew.

Anonymous said...

£1 for the building is too cheap for a start that smells fishy. There is already 2 soft play nearby that are local run business, this large company would threaten their business, we dont need another soft play in leith edinburgh needs the pool, wake up and speak to the people who live here.

Drew Wright said...

I remind you of these words from Richard Lewis shortly after the vote to help Splashback in their efforts to re-open the pool:
“While there remains a tremendous amount of work to be done in the months ahead, we want to give the community the best possible chance of success by providing the necessary funding and support toward taking their proposals to the next phase.

“We owe it to the people of Edinburgh to do everything we can to preserve this valuable community asset.”

Hollow words

Anonymous said...

That's just great, because another overpriced soft play facility is exactly what Leith needs!!

I was so excited when it was announced that waterworld would re-open, as I have not been swimming with my family since it closed. my kids were looking forward to it, too. It was a great facility, with water warm enough for small kids and with shallow areas and good fun facilities for older kids andgrown ups. Good fun for the whole family and all ages.

David said...

As a father of a 4 year-old and a new baby, I am really disappointed, and not a little frustrated at this decision/reversal.

We do not need another soft-play facility. There are enough in the area as it stands.

What we do need, however, is a good, fun and LOCAL play pool, like Waterworld. It provides a very different environment than other pools in the city, in which children can combine playful activities with learning to become confident with water and swimming. The fact that a capital city like Edinburgh cannot offer this facility is frankly embarrassing, particularly, when we already HAVE the building.

Anonymous said...

A great opportunity for City of Edinburgh Council to lead the way thrown away for 1 million? Come on. Absolute shame on you and those involved. The people of Leith and Edinburgh deserve better. Children deserve to be able to learn to swim and play without a wetsuit.

Anonymous said...

My first son's (now 2) first experience of swimming was at Leith Water World, and the warm and shallow water helped to build his confidence and get used to HAVING FUN in the water - he loved it. We did not have the same experience when we took him to a normal swimming pool, as the water is colder and the environment is less fun. Our newly born 2nd son, will not have the benefit of Leith Water World. This is a shameful turnaround and is the easy way out for CEC. Show some courage and support what the local community both NEED and WANT (that's the community that elected this Council). Do the right thing please.

Abi Cornwall said...

Edinburgh Council, you should be ashamed of yourselves. A council is put in place to work on behalf of the people it serves, it is not a self serving, independent organisation that just so happens to support the society around it. I haven't met one person who is against the re-opening of Leith Waterworld. I haven't met one person who is in support of a ridiculous soft play centre in its place (especially when they can go to Ocean Terminal, or Restalrig, or Newhaven Road if they want to have soft play fun). This is an absolute farce and you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Neill Hope said...

You make me physically sick

Shame on you and your cronies

rmcewan said...

Ashamed seems to be a recurring theme in the responses to you and fellow councillors motion. As a cooperative council!!!!! maybe you should think again and tell the bean counters to go and stuffed.
THINK AGAIN for the community in Leith and further afield

Lisa Mills said...

Absolutely devastated by this decision. It is an absolute disgrace. As many have pointed out before me there are a huge amount of soft play facilities already in Edinburgh, we do not need any more. That aside there is also the fact that soft plays are hardly suitable for kids 10+. This is a typical example of how Edinburgh council NEVER listens to its constituents. Disgusted with all of you.

laura cameronlewis said...

This is terrible, terrible news indeed. This council has betrayed it's community by turning around the decision to support Splashback to reopen this utterly unique facility.
For a measly 1m, how can you possibly justify this?
The loss to the community in this site is vastly more than this sum.
When this campaign first began, I didn't have any children but was deeply appreciative of the importance of Waterworld to children and families in Edinburgh. Now I have an infant daughter I understand that it is simply IMPOSSIBLE to teach a child to swim and enjoy the water in the other pools in Edinburgh (for example, Portobello small pool) as the water is FREEZING for an infant, even with a thick fleece lined winter wetsuit. I am devastated that my child will not have the opportunities that the previous generation did. As other posters have mentioned, the commonwealth is inaccessable due to closures and queues. Frankly, having bigger and naturally more rambunctious children in with infants is also very dangerous. I am very sad that the implication is that I must find a way to travel to Loanhead to teach my daughter to swim, I choose not to have a car as an ecological commitment and it is my expectation that living in the capital city I should have essential facilities for the physical education of my family. Disgraceful that you honestly think that the community will be grateful for YET ANOTHER ridiculous soft play centre. At this rate this is going to be the only option for family leisure time in North Edinburgh. Soft play centres are detrimental to child development as they separate carers from children, engendering feral behaviour and unattached parenting. Fine for the occasional afternoon, but families NEED social spaces that are under cover from the elements. This is going to have a long term negative impact on an already economically crippled area in Edinburgh. Very bad decision making and very short sighted indeed.

Richard Clark said...

Andrew - you and the council have gone back on your word to let Splashback have until the end of this year to pull together a compelling proposal.

I think you need to explain to the public why you have acted in this way, as at face value, it's a shameful betrayal.

Please don't darken our door come re-election time.

Anonymous said...

A very shortsighted decision all round, Edinburgh has plenty of softplay already, but not one fun pool that is warm enough to cater for toddlers and fun enough to be a family trip out. The commonwealth pool is too cold, utterly boring for kids, and more often than not you have a substantial waiting time at weekends, and when you do finally get it it has been our experience that you get corralled into one end of the teaching pool.

At least you have made it very clear that your priorities do not lie with families or Leith, whatever you may say.

Andrew said...

Thanks again for all the continuing comments --- please do keep them civil.

Few links that may be of interest:

31st January 2013 decision in full (see pages 5 and 6 of this minute); http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/download/meetings/id/38310/minute_of_31_january_2013

Both of tomorrow's reports (in full);
http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/download/meetings/id/39304/item_no_8_2_a_-leith_waterworld-progress_on_community_bid
&
http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/download/meetings/id/39305/item_no_8_2_b_-potential_sale_of_leith_waterworld

All this is avaiable via Committee Papers On-Line (CPOL) via here: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/cpol

- and you can also watch the Meeting live tomorrow (or it'll be archived), via here: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/772/councillors_and_democracy/1821/webcasting_of_council_meetings

Hope those links are of use/interest.

Andrew

Dawud Mordaunt said...

Shameful decision, broken promises and only to get more money to please the bankers. Nothing about helping Leith and Edinburgh with fun, warm swimming pool for disabled people and kids. My eldest son had benefit of Leith Waterworld and cried when he had to use cold, local, boring Leith Victoria. For those without cars, getting to another boring pool at the Commonwealth and then queuing isn't feasible. How can you sleep at night knowing you have taken a possible fun place from smiling children and the disabled and replaced it with yet another unneeded soft play area? And all for a bit of extra cash. What a bunch of mercenaries and shysters you shower are. Will never vote for you lot again, until you start to back the people of Edinburgh and not your bank balances...

Anonymous said...

Well Edinburgh council showing how dodgey they are again, just like when money for homelessness was put into , councils friends projects. All will come out and you should be accountable to the people. Roll on election time to remove the con men and women of Edinburgh district council and their back pockets. Shocking.

Marcus Gilchrist said...

This is the wrong decision. My 7 year-old benefitted from Leith Waterworld when he was a toddler/pre-School because he could *walk* into the pool to a depth he was comfortable with. In the commonwealth I have to carry my 2 year old around because the water is too deep... and the commonwealth is JUST a pool. Waterworld had so much going for it.

PeachyKeen said...

I would just like to take this opportunity to reiterate my support for the community bid to reopen Leith Waterworld in respect of the bid from A&G Property group to instead create a giant soft play.

In short:

1)Leith already has two great soft play centres (and maybe more that I have missed). Accepting this bid would clearly be detrimental to these businesses which seems unfair when there is no need for further soft play. Additionally, I think it should be taken into account that in the case of Maddie and Mark’s, this would also have a knock on effect on the footfall at Ocean Terminal which already seems in decline with the loss of some key shops, and the now impending new cinema at Fort Kinnaird.

2)Providing £125K for free swimming programmes for primary school children is a paltry handout that does not address in anyway the resource that has been lost with the closure of Leith Waterworld. The benefits have been stated over and over again, but the real crux for me is that there is nowhere to take very young children swimming that isn’t too cold (Leith Victoria) or too full (The Commie).

I was turned away on my one trip across town to the Commie but I have since found that many of my friends have had the same experience with their toddlers. Leith and Edinburgh need Waterworld. That is what the community has said, repeatedly.

I appreciate the temptation to take the money and run, but please think about the long term future of vote to finish what you started with the Splashback team.”

Hazel said...

As so many others have said, there's already ample soft play provision in Edinburgh. What there isn't is a warm water leisure pool where the water is shallow enough for babies to learn to explore, yet with flumes and waves to entertain teenagers. It really was - and still could be - a facility for all of Edinburgh's young people. That the Council have chosen to make a quick buck with scant disregard for what's actually needed in the city is hugely disappointing. I wonder how long the soft play centre will last?

Pam said...

How deeply short sighted and sad. There is no equivalent to Waterworld in Edinburgh it draws people to the City and to Leith...mainly those with kids and disabilities. The Commy falls far short and I too am sick of waiting 40 minutes to get into the boring teaching pool. I'll also be going out of Edinburgh for my kids to swim. If it's another awful soft play that too is just stupid. Clown Around serves locals wonderfully well. Can't you give the Council taxi budget to keep the pool open? Sell a useless tram or two? Maybe even stop funding expensive corporate Council logos/ ridiculous award schemes? This decision inspires no one. I get the feeling that this Council is bound in ego and corporate nonsense, with the Engine Shed funding also under threat maybe it's kids and disabled people that don't count for much.
Totally disgusted. Pam (Leith)

Fiona C said...

Cllr Burns

It certainly seems like the past 4 months in which I and other members of the Splashback team devoted really significant amounts of time (how many hours??) and effort to negotiate Council procurement procedures and attempt the drag the CEC into a meaningful co-operative effort with the community has been a huge waste of time on my behalf.

Personally speaking (I am not speaking on behalf of the group I've been working with), I am angry and hugely frustrated that you are willing to sell a community asset out from under us just when we had stated to make real progress, despite the agreement to invest more in swimming for children.

I feel that the Council has treated us exceptionally poorly. The terms of the January amendment have been completely disregarded to the community's detriment and you have allowed yourself to be dictated to by an arbitrary timetable laid down by a commercial interest that sought to remove us from the process.

We have been denied the time promised to us to develop the bid and also denied an opportunity to put forward a counter bid. The inability of Councillor's to stand up to officers intent to sell has been shocking.

I won't be in the Chamber tomorrow, but imagine me giving you a slow handclap from somewhere in the city when you overturn your fine words of a few months ago. It turns out a Council is only committed to a community until a private company bat's it lashes.

A full statement will be released by Splashback later this evening. These are my own views.

Anonymous said...

Absoluty disgusting. Edinburgh City Council keep making the wrong decisions. Shutting schools and then converting old huts for full P1 intakes, bus lane cameras and don't get me started on the vanity project the trams.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that the owner of A&G Group is a friend of someone with a position of influence in this decision? What are the plans for Tesco car park? Pay & Display??

Steven McGregor said...

"£125,000 to fund swimming programmes for primary school children in Edinburgh "

How magnanimous when they're getting over a million for the building.


Being able to swim should be an absolute minimum being able to enjoy the water such as at LWW should be a worthy enough goal. There is no where in Edinburgh where kids can play in the pool. They'll make their own entertainment in places like Dalry and the Commy but its not the same as flumes and a wave machine.

Kevin Murray said...

It is high time we abandoned the idea that facilities have to be completely financially self sustaining. I can think of no better use of tax payers money than to subsidise sports facilities. A place for young people to gather and encouraging a healthier lifestyle. Win win for the community. Come on, we can do better.

Anna MK said...

This is simply stupid and extremely narrow minded decision.

You could sell your soul if you could (I dont mean you personally Andrew but you as a part of a group of politicians)!!!

Its beyond believable that this is happening in capital off Scotland, it feels more like middle of Russia

Andrew said...

Thanks for the continuing comments - I am/will read through them all, and I do appreciate people taking the time to leave their thoughts ...

... but, I've asked a couple of times now, can we please keep them civil (the majority are, I know!).

As long-standing readers of my blog know, I have a completely unmoderated approach - and I want to keep it that way ...

... implicit claims of corruption etc. which are creeping into some comments are totally unsubstantiated and please refrain from making such false assertions.

Many thanks ...

... all that said, PLEASE do keep commenting :-)

Andrew

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for Splashback for the fact they have put so much time and effort into trying to get the LWW re-opening to happen, but I have always been curious as to how the re-opening could actually work.

Waterworld needed MILLIONS ploughed into it - the place was falling to bits. (much more than the £2 million that has been bandied about). It needed an entire new plant room sooner rather than later, and most of the facilities had completely stopped working. The River Run did not even operate for the last few months of Waterworld being open because a replacement pump was too expensive.

I would have loved to see Waterworld restored to glory but it just was not going to happen with a Community Bid - I would rather see it go completely than a half-hearted attempt to reopen that falls on its face when the money doesn't stretch far enough. How Splashback could have ever come up with a commercially viable bid is beyond me. The pool's operating costs were massive - staffing levels had to be as high as they were to legally lifeguard the pool area properly - that isn't going to change. At least the facility will still benefit children and isn't just getting turned into a Tesco petrol station or something equally horrible.

The Commie is a brilliant facility and yes, the queues for the warm teaching pool can be long but plenty of people had to queue to get into Waterworld at the weekends too.

It's gutting for Splashback and Leith but I think it's time people got realistic here - there are plenty of brilliant public pools in Edinburgh that might not tick every box but are still great facilities (far better than some other areas of Scotland).

Garry McDougall said...

Notwithstanding going back on your word with splashback. Have you considered the effect a new soft play centre will have on the existing facilities? Taking away business from small family run business 'Clownaround' and damaging profits of the declining Ocean Terminal's 'Maddie and Marks Playtown'? This is a rotten decision. Go-karts???! Our children need EXERCISE not sitting in a car. Can I assume that when this venture goes bust, the abandoned Go-Kart track will be used as a shooting gallery for the citizens of Leith you have failed, just like in the 80s?

Arthur Duncan said...

I am afraid this whole sorry state of affairs, like the trams, leaves Leith as the poor relation. But, worse still, as others have pointed out, this was a unique facility for a family friendly city, that once sold and converted will likely never be replaced. Although a supporter of the Splashback bid, I understood the killing blow to have been delivered some years back, when shortsightedness sacrificed an expensive BUT genuine family facility for the sake of wider leisure interests. We now have the "fun factory" that is the Commie - expensive, busy and cold. The worst I can threaten is the withdrawal of my vote, which is exactly what I will do in relation to any individual or party that support the Coalition motion.

Anonymous said...

Is trust only worth £1m?

Is CEC SO hard up that it needs the money NOW?

Katrina Walker said...

Hi Andrew,

I'm glad there is a place to post our comments as we feel that there is no real outlet for our voices to be heard. As you can tell, there is a real depth of feeling in the community and this is something that is devasting to be ignored on.

As the parents of two small children we miss the valuable pool that actually catered to them. A warm, exciting and fun pool that was suitable for families, one we were never turned away from (sorry Commie, but you just don't seem to have the space) and most importantly, a pool that children are really excited about visiting. An 'inspiring' pool that children beg to visit. Since it closed, we've had some chilly experiences in other pools and swimming has been completely sidelined as the enthusiasm has gone.

Edinburgh NEEDS (not just wants) a family orientated, fun, warm swimming pool that locals can walk and take the bus to. We are a capital city - why can't the council provide the associated services for our community? The proposal to subsidise primary children with swimming lessons in no way makes up for the loss of Leith Waterworld. And we would 100% agree with the many other comments stating that Leith doesn't need another soft play centre.

Please, please reconsider. I'm not sure the Edinburgh community can take many more knocks from our council.

SLight said...

I agree with so many comments above. Why does Leith need another soft play option? The Council keeps referring to other swimming options in Edinburgh but which other pools provide the sloping access and shallow areas that were so beneficial to young children and the less mobile at Waterworld. Both my girls (age 3 and 5) are confident in the water and that is in no small way due to the experience they had at Waterworld being able to run in and out of the water to a depth they were comfortable with. So often I saw disabled people there with their carers - able to access the water much more independently than in conventional pools. In closing this facility I would question any claim by Edinburgh City Council's to operate on an inclusive basis. Re-emphasise that another softplay is not needed while a pool facility of this type most certainly is. It is an embarrassment that a city such as Edinburgh does not have such a facility.

Anonymous said...

What an absolute disgrace. I have a 5 month old and have to travel out of Edinburgh to take him swimming because all of Edinburgh's pools are too cold and have no fun features. For the many parents who don't have access to transport or like me can't afford the expensive private swimming classes for babies, this is a real blow.

Anonymous said...

Are you aware that your own Edinburgh Leisure is opening a large soft play facility only two miles away from Leith? If your plan is to make money, then this decision makes no sense as you'll be selling off your own market share as well as a valuable and unique community asset. Also, the news is that the Edinburgh Leisure soft play facility is going to be built inside Portobello Indoor Bowls centre - so disabled people, children and now elder people are to lose out as another unique and well loved facility is to be decimated. Seriously, are the council at all informed about it's own plans? I can't see how ANY of this makes sense.

neill hope said...

Oh well, at least our kids will know what to do if they fall into a canal full of plastic balls or a fast moving river of foam.

Anonymous said...

Please reconsider this atrocious decision. The administration your council leads can always find money for elite sporting facilities such as the EICC and the Commonwealth Pool.

But what has never been made clear is why ordinary families should pay for these things? Or why Leith should pay the price for the mismanagement and cost overruns of the Commonwealth Pool renovation? Especially after the collapse of the tram project.

There is no equivalent, affordable facility in Edinburgh, and another tedious corporate soft play is no substitute.

What signal does this decision send to people who genuinely worked their backsides off, for free, to try to find a way to re-open Leith Waterworld? Anyone would think the administration you lead is actively trying to discourage people from trying to improve their community or engage in the political system.

Never voting Labour or SNP again.

Anonymous said...

You keep saying 'keep comments civil'. Comments are generally civil. May I suggest that you seem to be trying to tar all negative comments as simply 'uncivil'. It's just a little transparent. I do hope I was being polite enough. Wouldn't want to lack any 'civility'.

W Scott said...

It is deeply disappointing that this decision has been taken. I can only reiterate the thoughts of many on here that there is absolutely no need for another softplay but a huge need for a facility of this kind, It is shameful that the entire city of Edinburgh will have no such facility and shameful on those making this decison that they cannot see the bigger picture and the wider benefits to all in the community that Leith Waterworld can provide. Think again and reconsider Councillor Burns - because people will very definitely remember these decisions at election time.

Anonymous said...

Viewed from 100yds this may be a bad outcome but viewed from a 100miles well it is the correct decision.Not that anyone likes to see community action thwarted but the ongoing costs of operating a leisure pool would have been too big a burden. The hard reflection here for a newish council was not to stick to its original plan and close for good last year, the false hopes was a bit of a cop out.Stick to your strategy and move on. On a wider point Edinburgh deserves more money from central govt for sports facilities, £100 spend per head in Glasgow £30 per head in Edinburgh I believe, Andrew please raise this with your SNP partners and seek some answers.
By the way some of the coments about the Commonwealth pool are bit off the mark we should be proud of it and not judge it as a leisure pool , if its a swim you want try Leith Vic or Porty or Glenogle none are that far from Leith.