Back in early 2017 I wrote about how the new leisure facility was going to cost a lot more than the £25m estimate.
Today at cabinet, papers revealed the true cost....so far, £35m. I want to know why when Sport England's own documented estimates for a similar facility come in at at just over a third of this, yes, a third.
It will certainly be nice to have a new pool, as after nearly a year I spent with Chelmsford Diving Club, and having to put up with sewerage smelling changing rooms, green algae impregnated in the floor, dirty changing rooms, areas of the pool not cleaned in the whole year I dived at the pool, rust everywhere to name but a few, so yes it was time to get a new pool.
However, at the expense of. No diving boards, No SCUBA club, synchronised swimming as the water isn't deep enough. We don't need 10 lanes, 8 is adequate for competitions.
When I was diving there the numbers of divers could out number swimmers, this was often the City Councils excuse, that the diving club didn't have enough members to justify keeping the boards. Well, yard for yard of water the divers were paying their way over the swimmers.
Some of you may remember Robert Hutson's design, see below.
Coming in at around £25m, keeping the diving boards, upgrading the outdoor pool into a leisure pool and under the same roof as the formal lane pool, add a climbing wall, restaurant, hotel and we would have got a lot more for our money.
The Liberal Democrats campaigned to keep the diving boards and were supported by GB World Champion Rebecca Gallantree who I met and dived with when she came to Chelmsford.
Mark with Rebecca.
With the decisions made by Chelmsford's Tories, we no longer have the facilities to inspire future British Olympians. I hope to one day be able to say there will be such a facility in Chelmsford, but it won't be of the Tory Councils making.