Harrogate Borough Council says it won't be closing district paddling pools

The potential closure of the paddling pools within the district’s parks was removed from Harrogate Borough Council’s budget agenda after outrage from residents.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 4:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 4:14 pm

After a post of Facebook about the possible decommissioning of the paddling pools, residents across the district put forwards their thoughts on this subject - an overwhelming majority of which were against the idea.

The paddling pools are located at three parks within the area - Valley Gardens in Harrogate, Bebra Gardens in Knaresborough and Borrage Green in Ripon.

Harrogate Borough Council has confirmed it will no longer consider decommissioning the district's paddling pools.

Two Knaresborough Town Councillors, who are also members of Harrogate Borough Council (HBC), raised the issue with the relevant members of HBC over the weekend, before the decision was taken to remove the item from the agenda.

Coun Ed Darling, Knaresborough Castle ward, said: “I am pleased to report that this item will be removed from the council’s budget agenda.

“As many have highlighted, the paddling pool in Bebra Gardens is an important facility for residents and visitors and provides benefits for all users. HBC will not be decommissioning this pool, or any other paddling pool in the district.”

Many people across the area have voiced their opinions about the idea of closing the pools over the last week, as well as expressing their love for them.

Jenny Cook, a voice practitioner and mum of two from Knaresborough, told the Harrogate Advertiser that she was extremely concerned when she heard about the proposal.

She said: “I was very upset about the idea of losing the paddling pool in Bebra Gardens because we use it a lot in summer and it would be a real shame.

“It brings so much joy to so many people. It’s such a brilliant facility that we are lucky to have and it is so well used.

“We also travel to Harrogate and use the one in Valley Gardens too to make the most of these amazing resources we have. It’s one of the few fun, free things to do with children in the summer holidays.

“The pools are also in such beautiful settings. It’s one of the reasons I love living here.”

Andy Paraskos, cabinet member for member for environment, waste reduction and recycling, said: “As part of the draft budget proposals for 2020/21 a number of savings have been explored, one being the closure of the paddling pools in Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon.

“On reflection, about how much these local assets mean to people across the district and how much enjoyment they bring to so many children, I am pleased to confirm they will remain open.”