I had a meeting with Mike Carran last week, and was accompanied by Jean and Terry. We met at Bateman’s and discussed various aspects of the Promenade, which were a re-iteration of previous discussions and queries, requests and complaints.
Mike is going to draw up a plan for a three-year strategy to improve the Western Promenade and a draft of this, will be sent to me by the beginning of October. Next week he is going to visit all the seafront areas in the District with Steve Gove with this purpose in mind, and will endeavour to let me know when they will be in Brightlingsea.
The main complaints were about the state of the toilets and the sand on the path around the paddling pool up to the cafe.
As reported last time, a new cleaner and beach sweeper was employed at the beginning of August (the same person working for two companies). It must be borne in mind that the weather has been particularly good; therefore the Prom., has been very busy, resulting in the toilets being used far more than usual. A third clean per day was added but the time allowed wasn’t really sufficient.
The sand build-up and the litter has been commented on by very many people and this matter and that of the toilet cleaning has been taken up by Mike.
After he left, we were joined by Gordon the Warden who finished his season with us on Sunday, 4th September. They repeated the complaints and gave their views and opinions and those of the residents and visitors they had spoken to. It was an illuminating chat.
This week I attended a meeting with the Beach Hut Association Committee and Mike Carran. They asked the same questions and re-enforced the same complaints.
Mike took all aspects on board, and hopefully, the strategy will incorporate the measures we spoke about.
The Beach Rake (a new item of equipment recently acquired by TDC will be trialled around the paddling pool area on Wednesday, 15th September, commencing at about 8.15 a.m. This is with a view to utilising it on a programmed basis throughout next season.
The grass area (safe play area) looks better than it did, but it still needs some work doing to it.
The old Skate ramps are now 17 years old and really need replacing. Terry will be meeting with a skate ramp company in the near future. I will attend if possible.
Terry is also getting someone to look at the sluices and cover, and will report back to me, if I am unable to join him on one or both occasions.
The pool closed on Sunday 11th September. We tried to persuade Tendring District Council to open it longer, but this was not possible as staff have gone back to University.
First indications are that the pool has had a very good, if somewhat, truncated, season. The final figures should be available at the end of September, although it looks likely it may even make a profit this year.
It is now quite likely that Tendring District Council will not be running the pool next year, and we are looking at ways and means of obtaining funds via a trust. We are also talking to other operators who run pools, i.e. Fusion, to see whether or not they are interested. Obviously once we are aware of Tendring District Council’s intentions, we will sit down and negotiate a way forward. In the meantime we are looking at other sites, i.e. Beccles and Stockton, to see how they run and funded their capital investment, i.e. heating.