The Lido has seen strong performances on all fronts in the recent good weather. We have enjoyed some very positive national and local publicity, being featured in The Guardian top ten Lidos and an article in the East Anglian Daily times. I have also been on BBC radio Essex with a feature on the Dave Monk drive time show.
In terms of economic forecasts it does look like we are going to meet our targets comfortably. The budget for the whole of 2018 was for 11,500 swims and an income of £30,200; this was on a projected operational budget of £61,400. In the first seven weeks since opening the number of swims has been 11774, and the income from this has been £41,061. With another nine weeks to go, including the six week school holiday, the operational situation is looking very sound financially.
The trustees on the CIO have been working hard at fund raising and applying for grants. The recent Jazz night sold out and raised nearly £2,500 for future developments. The budget identified £9,000 as a target for sponsorship, donations and sales. To date we have received almost £15,000 in this area, again well exceeding budget predictions.
A finance meeting was held between Trustees, the Town Clerk and councillors on the 13th July when budgets were reconciled and revised projections consolidated into this years accounts.
BTC have had a response from TDC regarding financial settlement of proposed funding, and after deductions to pay 50% of last year’s operating costs, TDC estimate that they owe us £194. Negotiations on this and other funding issues are ongoing.
Overall the Lido project is going very well but special mention must be made of the manager Will Jenkins and lifeguards who have been very professional and extremely hard working in the heatwave, plus the volunteer front of house staff have been magnificent in dealing with record attendances. The feedback via social media, trip advisor etc has been universally positive about their friendly approach and helpful attitudes.
The technical staff led by Dave Atkinson and Neil Ballard have also been excellent in terms of dealing with high demands on the water treatment and quality assurance. The recent independent bacteriological tests recorded zero on all potential contaminants.
A meeting between Barry and Ross (Scouts), Terry and I, was held last week to discuss their plans at the Boating Lake for the season, small works to be done, the Pumpkin Festival to be held again this year, on the 27th October, and the recent break-in, which resulted in the police being called. We are waiting to hear back from them. The Model Boat Club side was also broken into, and it appears that adults were the culprits, looking for items to sell on. The other item on the Agenda was the weed on the lake which has proved very problematic this year. Terry opened the sluices at 1.30am on Friday, 2pm on Saturday, 2.30am on Sunday and 3pm on Sunday, to hopefully enable the weed to be discharged. The MBC thanked him, and I would like to endorse that, as he didn’t have a weekend to speak of. No more high tides for seven weeks, so the lake is over full at the moment.
On Tuesday, 17th July, it was reported by a resident, that a large branch of one of the trees at the back of the Lakeside caravan park had broken off and was dangerous. Robert Course came along to temporarily make safe, with remedial work to be carried out on it today. I have asked Clive Dawson (TDC tree officer) to look at this in the past, and Terry has cleared dead branches, but this will now have to be discussed and a decision made about both trees. Terry, with Council permission, will ask a tree inspector to visit, appraise and give his report on the health of the trees.
Hopefully, the new lease on Lakeside will very shortly be finalised to everyone’s satisfaction.
Fiona Brown (Commodore of the Sailing Club) met with Jean and I recently to discuss the Sailing Club’s plans with regard to Suffuse funding and any impact it might have on plans we might have. At the moment, it won’t, but we will discuss again as plans progress.
A Digger is on the Prom., today, dealing with the sand and improving the beach area all being well.
Someone was seen in the paddling pool yesterday, presumably taking samples as part of the survey organised by TDC.
I have also been advised by Terry, that he saw a base being made for the new seafront warden’s hut today, and that other work is in progress. Jean and I will view the area this afternoon, and I am waiting to speak to Mike Carran about the project.