Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Plan to Save Saltdean Lido

Letter to the Independent 7th July 2010:-

Mr Strawbridge, from the lofty heights of Nottingham, appears to be working with inaccurate information when he claims (letters, 3 July) that Saltdean Lido, on the Sussex coast, has been used by "fewer than a dozen swimmers in total" during three weeks in June. Had he checked the Facebook group mentioned, he would have seen posts by independent visitors detailing user numbers in excess of 400 over the period he specifies.

But many more people would be inclined to use the lido were it not for lack of marketing and erratic opening hours. More often than not, the pool is closed by 4pm, so that when children are out of school and workers have wended their way home, they can't swim even if they want to.

It seems visibly obvious that since Mr Audley took over the site, little has been spent on maintaining this building of great national architectural importance. I am sure our campaign supporters, including those on Facebook to whom Mr Strawbridge refers, would love to know why they should buy a season ticket in advance, with no guarantee that a penny of the price would ever go on maintaining the building and with little confidence that the pool will be open when they want to swim.

Regarding Mr Strawbridge's allegations that we are trying to "wrest the lease from the legitimate owner"; the community is unfortunately not in a position to make any such attempt. However, at the last public meeting, attended by Mr Audley, local Councillors confirmed that a Section 146 notice had been served upon him, based upon some 48 pages of Breaches of Covenant and Wants of Repair, a copy of which the Campaign has acquired under the Freedom of Information Act.

Our business plan will demonstrate how the local community could operate the site successfully at profit, without the need for the 102 flats that Mr Audley claims are required as an Enabling Development.

Saltdean Lido is an architectural gem, a piece of our nation's history and a community amenity. We will fight tooth and claw to preserve its integrity.

Rebecca Crook

Save Saltdean Lido Campaign, Brighton

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