St Neots residents launch social media campaign about town leisure facilities

PUBLISHED: 09:16 24 July 2014 | UPDATED: 09:16 24 July 2014

Would a splash park win your support? Email your views to editor@huntspost.co.uk and take part in the Facebook poll.

Would a splash park win your support? Email your views to editor@huntspost.co.uk and take part in the Facebook poll.

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A 450-strong group of St Neots residents have kick-started a social media campaign to try to ensure they have their say about what leisure facilities are built in the town.

After discussion on the St Neots Facebook group about the prospect of a £1.2million swimming pool being built on the former outdoor pool site in Huntingdon Road – as reported by The Hunts Post in May – Philip Rourke decided to pull together opinions by creating a poll.

So far, it has attracted 457 votes, with the overwhelming majority in favour of an outdoor splash park and play area – somewhere children can play with fountains and water features in the summer months.

Mr Rourke, 43, of Nelson Road, Eaton Socon, said this would normally include a soft play area for children and sprinklers that come out of the ground. The other options include an outdoor swimming pool, which has 114 votes, and an indoor water park, which has 36 votes.

The father of two children said: “I thought, ‘Let’s just set up a quick poll and we can get a better idea of what is required and what people want and we can then go and speak to the powers that be’.

“The old swimming pool was very popular as I understand it. Personally, I would prefer to see an outdoor splash park – if the money was available then an outdoor splash park with some form of outdoor pool. We have already got an indoor pool and in the summer when it’s nice everyone prefers to be outside.

“They have got a much lower initial capital outlay than building a pool, lower maintenance costs and are generally unsupervised as there is no real standing water for anyone to harm themselves in.

“I think the big appeal to them is that they are free, they are available pretty much all the time and there are lots of open air areas where adults can go – they are a real family thing.”

He said that he plans to let the poll run for the rest of this week. Councillor Steve Van De Kerkhove will address the town council on behalf of the group at the full council meeting tomorrow (Thursday, July 24).

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