THE LATEST London Fields Lido no-end-in-sight admissions by Hackney have prompted a blistering attack on the council’s latest pool failure.
Liberal Democrat councillor Abraham Jacobson told Loving Dalston the delay was “yet another refurbishment debacle”.
The heated outdoors pool was closed this summer for repair works after it was discovered that tiles were cracking and coming loose, even though it had reopened only 10 years earlier, at a cost of more than £2 million. The Labour regime had let the art-deco treasure atrophy for almost two decades.
Jacobson, of Cazenove ward, said: “The council needs to get to the bottom of why this repair work was needed so soon after the last refurbishment. Tiles should not be cracking after only 10 years. The council has said it will look into it and report back by the end of September… but we still have no answers.” (The town hall had not publicly discussed who might at fault over the latest closure until Loving Dalston pressed it to consider seeking financial compensation.)
Jacobson said Hackney’s mismanagement of this and the previous refurbishment, completed in 2006, was unacceptable. Jacobson added: “We need answers as to how this could happen.”
The council admitted to Loving Dalston that “unfortunately” it still did not have an opening date.
Community services councillor Jon Burke issued a statement that “at first glance it may look like the pool is ready [as Loving Dalston’s snatch picture, above, suggests]”.But the Olympic-length pool would stay closed because of poolside-repair problems.
Though the main work — replacing the screed, render and tiles within the pool itself — had been completed, the contractor, Etec, a north London firm, had not finished poolside. And new mechanical and electrical systems around the complex were not working safely.
Burke added: “The contractor is working through a series of defects to agreed deadlines.” He refused to announce an opening date. His reluctance is clearly because of the embarrassment of having announced the lido would reopen at the end of September this year 2017. And not in “late summer” as stated on signs still outside the pool.
On its website the 2005-founded Etec boasts about its “skillset” when it installed floodlights at the lido in 2014, without mentioning its latest London Fields Lido contract.
Some contractors might wonder why Etec went ahead with lighting the lido for night-swim sessions when the pool was soon to be unusable. Or did the young firm’s “skillset” not reveal anything to worry about?
David Altheer 051117
* Backstory: Reopening date sinks without explanation; Lido nears end of repairs for serious leaks; Lido repairs going well, says contractor; Late reprieve for lido; Hiring a contractor is not going swimmingly; Lido’s off-the-wall horror
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