Whilst swimming pools across County Durham are preparing for a return of swimmers, Consett’s is being drained to prepare for an investigation and subsequent repairs. According to the county council the issues arise from the construction company (Carillion – which Durham County Council gave a monopoly on school building across the county) which has left them with “a number of latent defects” and the pool is unlikely to be open until April 2021.
This closure follows an earlier issue just before the Covid crisis when the learner pool had to be closed becasue of problems with the floor.
The current problems include continuing cracking of tiles, leaks and unexplained water loss, electrical cabling, and the glare control system on the roof which has never worked.
Elsewhere in the Leisure Centre there have been problems with floors in both the Sports Hall and Squash Courts.
I would like to think that there is no pattern here which suggests that the constructor and/or the site have left the people of Consett with a huge problem. I cannot be so confident. And if there is such a problem, Durham County Council, its leader and senior executives will be culpable.
“I told you so” is never a strong line for politicians. The system all too often appears to be designed to delay and obscure the release of information. Despite that, I cannot help hoping there was nothing prescient in an article I wrote seven years ago, even before Planning Permission was given for the Academy and Leisure Centre Project to be built at Belle Vue. Read it here: https://owentemple.mycouncillor.org.uk/2012/12/18/black-hole-under-belle-vue/
The County Council chose the site – against the advice of most local people. The County Council chose the constructor, giving it free rein across every school in its “Building Schools for the Future” plans. If chickens do head home to roost, they’ll know where the hen house is.