Cannock Chase Council has updated its risk assessment on the paddling pool at Ravenhill Park in Rugeley, based on national guidance, and has decided not to reopen the pool on June 21 as planned.
The paddling pool at Ravenhill Park is the only public paddling pool in Cannock Chase that survives – it does not have a modern automatic monitoring and dosing system to test and treat the water in the pool, which has to be undertaken manually. Other factors that led to the decision were access to the nearby play area and the fact that the play area and paddling pool are often very crowded during the summer months.
Councillor Adrienne Fitzgerald, portfolio leader for housing, heritage & leisure said: "We owe it to the public to keep them safe by only opening the pool when it is safe to do so, and the current rise in the infection rates amongst the young, shows we still need to be vigilant.
"When the Government roadmap allows the lifting of all restrictions on social gatherings, we will be able to move ahead and reopen the pool. We hope this will be in time for the school summer holidays and we thank the public for their support and understanding with this difficult situation.”
A council spokesman said: "Current Covid restrictions mean that it is very difficult to reopen the paddling pool at this time. Despite working hard on preparing the pool, our priority must be the health and safety of our residents and visitors.
“While Government restrictions limit outdoor gatherings to no more than 30 people and social distancing remains in place, we believe the paddling pool cannot operate in a Covid-secure way. At peak times, the paddling pool attracts hundreds of people per day, not just from Cannock Chase but from neighbouring areas as well.
“It is a very different situation to indoor and outdoor swimming pools, where access can be securely controlled, numbers limited to 30 people and swimming lanes can be roped off to limit the number of swimmers and help manage social distancing."