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Penketh Pool Refurbishment - Update

The Clerk
July 22, 2022
1 Comment
As we near completion of the Refurbishment works of Penketh Pool, I wanted to say thank you to all of the hard working Parish Councillors who have soldiered on through much adversity, full time jobs, careers and family commitments, yet still achieving something amazing for our local community. One thing that's sadly been highlighted following the recent hot weather is how important Swimming is as a life skill, we've heard of far too many tragedies in open water again, and this is something especially close to many of our hearts here at Penketh Parish Council. Throughout local campaigning and speaking to residents, I'm still amazed by how many people can't actually swim. That's why we want to not only provide the vital life skills of swimming to our younger generations, but also build the community, social and wellbeing aspect for our older generation. We'll be releasing our revised timetable shortly and would welcome feedback from the community. As ever its will be difficult to accommodate every individual wish but we aim to be as inclusive as possible, whilst quite rightly maximising the profitability of the pool to minimise impact to the Penketh precept (the surcharge of our council tax which funds PPC) Every effort will be made to re-instate our former swim scheme members first, before opening up a larger number of slots to the wider public and to new members who have reached teaching age whilst we have been closed. Please be mindful though, that some of our time is taken up by private hirers and clubs, and they will be in touch with you separately and may have their own challenges in returning after such a long period of time. I look forward to welcoming you all back soon, you will notice some changes, and likely be able to suggest further improvements to come but we'll endeavour to consult with you wherever possible, Once again thanks for your patience and kind messages of support. Below you'll find the latest statement from Cllr Kieran Layfield, Chair of the Business Management Committee Kind Regards, Cllr Michael Potts Chairman Penketh Parish Council.   Swimming Pool Update – Cllr K Layfield 13/06/22- Statement on works to the pool- openness and transparency There have recently been some public allegations and untruths raised regarding the works to the pool, particularly on the matters of costs, openness & transparency. This statement is in response to these. As is well known, the pool has been neglected for a large number of years. The facility was initially shut at the start of the covid-19 pandemic (March 2020). Whilst the hall has reopened for use, the pool has remained closed due to several issues including a failed filtration system, leaking pipework and cracking of the pool walls. In 2021 the recently elected parish councillors commissioned an optioneering review to determine the long-term future of the building and its use in the community. This exercise looked at several possible high-level options ranging from doing nothing, refurbishment / remodelling through to demolition and new build. The intention of the study was to review these options and decide which should be developed further with possible input from external consultants and contractors. These options (10 in total) were costed for by an external professional cost consultant. The options were presented and discussed at several public full council meetings between October 2021 and February 2022. In parallel a business plan was produced and issued to all councillors in December 2021. Following input from councillors, the business plan was presented for approval at the February 2022 public full council meeting. The options study report (including costs) and business plan are both available to view on the parish council website. At this meeting it was agreed (with no votes against) to approve the business plan and proceed with a phased approach for refurbishing the facility, effectively starting with the pool, and appointment of a specialist pool contractor. This would cover options 4-6 and give time to develop options for the refurbishment / redevelopment of the changing rooms at a later date. The estimated cost of Phase 1 of the works (effectively Option 3) was initially priced at £384,174 including VAT, although it was acknowledged that a significant amount of savings could be made against this figure. For the annual parish council budget, a capital spend of £129k was agreed with a £50k allowance made against possible loan repayments, if a loan was needed in the future. It should be noted that this budget was agreed by all councillors with no votes against. We have to date committed to spend £100,500 (inclusive of some of the survey works undertaken in the previous financial year). There are a number of further items needing to be purchased and installed ahead of reopening (including lighting, disabled hoist, and a new pool cover) which, based on current quotes, is under our £28,500 budget limit. The parish council press release in March 2022 referred to figure of £80k. This figure referred to the work being undertaken by the appointed specialist pool contractor and this element remains under budget (although it is acknowledged that they may undertake some of the other items noted above, if they are found to be best value) Future phases have not been decided beyond appointing an architect to develop some proposals for the redevelopment of the changing rooms. It is our intention to present these for public review ahead of any decision to proceed (or not) with them. Whilst there will always be commercially sensitive information that we are unable to share in Part 1 of the public meetings (such as when discussing quotes and cost estimates of individual items) we always strive to be as open and transparent as possible. As chair of the business management committee, I would be more than happy to sit down face to face with any member of the public and run through the costs and decisions made to date.

PENKETH BEACON LIGHTING CEREMONY

Leigh Jones
May 26, 2022
No Comments
PENKETH BEACON LIGHTING CEREMONY THURSDAY 2ND JUNE, 8PM-10PM, PENKETH GARDENS FOR FULL DETAILS & TO RSVP, PLEASE VISIT OUR EVENTBRITE PAGE: http://penkethparishcouncil.eventbrite.com/ As previously announced, we're hosting a Beacon Lighting Ceremony in Penketh Gardens on Thursday 2nd June, 8pm-10pm. This event forms part of the national Platinum Jubilee celebrations where over 1,500 beacons will be lit throughout the nation, UK Overseas Territories and the Commonwealth capitals in recognition of The Queen’s long and selfless service. Join us to celebrate the start of the Jubilee long weekend and enjoy an evening with live music, a bugler, a bagpiper, and witness the lighting of the permanent Jubilee Beacon structure that has been commissioned by Penekth Parish Council. Refreshments will be available to purchase on-site from Penketh Scouts. In order for us to best manage capacity, we are asking those that wish to attend to complete an RSVP registration via Eventbrite (link below). RSVP pre-registration is not a condition of entry, however - it is the only way to guarantee entry. The event does have a limited capacity to comply with licencing requirements. Non-registered guests will be welcomed, providing that capacity has not been reached. Those that have an RSVP registration will be guaranteed entry up until 21:00. FOR FULL DETAILS & TO RSVP, PLEASE VISIT OUR EVENTBRITE PAGE: http://penkethparishcouncil.eventbrite.com/

REFURBISHMENT WORKS START AT PENKETH POOL

Leigh Jones
March 14, 2022
No Comments
After many months of planning, work has started today, Monday 14th March, on the refurbishment of the existing pool at Penketh Pool & Community Centre, owned by Penketh Parish Council. The pool closed in March 2020, due to the Coronavirus pandemic. It had been previously identified that there were several cracks/leaks in the pool walls and pipe infrastructure, and a failure of the filtration system. The pool was drained whilst investigative works were completed, which further highlighted several issues and defects relating to the pool and the associated plant and plumbing equipment. As such, the pool has remained closed. Penketh Parish Council have been working on a project to understand these issues and appoint an appropriate contractor to carry out remedial works, which was agreed at the last full council meeting in February. The appointed contractor has also completed similar work at other facilities in neighbouring boroughs and following site visits and meetings with other centres – the Council agreed that this work was completed to a high standard. The anticipated cost of this first phase of refurbishment work (circa £80,000 including VAT & contingency) is being wholly funded by the existing 2021/22 Council budget. This has been enabled by a number of cost efficiencies made by the Council following the May 2021 election. The refurbishment of the existing pool is also being complemented by an overall review of the business operating model. A new business plan and strategy has been devised (in draft format) by the Council’s Business Management Committee, which aims to streamline and improve the viability of the Pool and Community Centre and reduce the dependency on the local precept. Historically, the business of the pool was supported by around £120,000 a year from the main Council budget Councillor Kieran Layfield, Chair of the Business Management Committee said: “It’s great that after many months of hard work to get to this point, building works are commencing on the pool. After seeing first-hand the work that our appointed contractor has completed at other local centres, I’m really looking forward to seeing these works come to fruition over the coming weeks.” The Council have also conducted an optioneering study on different approaches to take with the overall centre, including the entrance and the changing rooms. Various options have been identified and subsequently costed. Once the remedial works to the pool have been completed, the Council will move into this next phase – and a public consultation process will be completed before any final decision is made. Councillor Dale Solan-Cooper, Chair of the Council, said: “I’m thrilled that works are starting at the pool. Whilst working from the centre over the past months, I’ve spoken to many passing residents who have asked when they are going to be able to come back for a swim. The pool is a fantastic asset for the people of Penketh – it provides vital swimming education to our local young people and serves as a leisure activity for the wider community. I’m really excited to finally be able to welcome back our previous service user groups and customers over the coming months. Whilst this milestone is hugely significant, I’m also looking forward to speaking with residents about further opportunities to enhance the offering of the Pool & Community centre, which we’ll deliver through public consultation led by our Business Management and Marketing & Communications committees. I really encourage the local community to get behind us as the centre reopens and help us to rebuild your asset.” The remedial works at the pool are planned to take around 8 weeks to be completed, and further updates regarding the progress and reopening of the pool will be provided as the project moves forward via our website and social media channels. In addition, members of the public are welcome to attend any Council meetings or watch from home on the live stream. If anyone has any questions or comments, these can be sent to the Clerk to the Council via email to clerk@penkethparishcouncil.org.uk

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