An independent consultation launched by Harlow Council to discover people’s views on the future of Harlow’s paddling pools is under way.
An online survey for residents to give their views runs until 20 September 2019 and can be completed via the Council’s website at www.harlow.gov.uk/paddling-pools
There will also be surveys and discussions with local community groups and surveys carried at the paddling pools with families and children.
The Council wants to improve the pools because many of the current facilities are now ageing and there is an opportunity to modernise them for the future shaped around what local people want.
A team from the appointed consultants attended the National Play Day in Harlow Town Park last week, where members of the public – of all ages – came along to their table to discuss the importance of the town’s paddling pools – and whether they should be retained and updated, or replaced by splash parks, or whether to treat each site separately. There was much conversation, and many surveys were filled in.
It is already clear that the paddling pools are held in great affection in Harlow, with many residents describing their good memories of playing in the pools themselves as youngsters, and later taking their own children there for picnics and water play.
The consultancy team also met with members of Harlow Youth Council and with children attending Efua Sey Cultural Academy. At these meetings there was lots of lively discussion and surveys were filled in – but also both groups had the chance to make a giant poem about their views, memories and experiences with published poet and workshopper Jean Atkin, who is working with the consultants. More meetings with local children and young people’s groups, and with their parents and carers, are taking place this week and will continue over the coming weeks.