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Campaigners rally to save diving boards at Park Road Leisure Centre in Crouch End
More than 1,500 people have signed a petition to save diving facilities at a leisure centre in Crouch End.
Campaigners from across the borough have called on Fusion Lifestyle and Haringey Borough Council to the keep the diving platforms at Park Road Leisure Centre, in Park Road.
Fabienne Thomson, of Dickenson Road, started the petition after Fusion revealed plans to get rid of all the centre’s diving boards – despite promising to improve them in its bid to run the centre last year.
People in Crouch End have been told they will have to go to Tottenham Green Leisure Centre, in Philip Lane, to dive.
Campaigners are also concerned about the lack of provision from Fusion for older children under their current plans.
Mrs Thomson, a mother-of-three said: “Park Road has a dedicated diving pool and Tottenham doesn’t.
“One of my children, Harry, dives four times a week and if the diving boards go then he will have to stop because with other family commitments, I can’t spend the time travelling on the bus just to take him diving. He was hoping to qualify for a national competition.
“Fusion made these plans with after promising to improve the diving facilities – they didn’t even consult anyone.”
Fusion won the 20-year contract to run the centre on the understanding it would refurbish the pool, put in a moveable floor for the diving pool, expand the gym and make other improvements.
But half way through January it told Haringey Aquatics, a swimming and diving club which uses the pool, that plans had changed and diving facilities at Park Road would be removed.
Campaigners have accused Fusion and the council of offering one plan to the public for approval then switching to another to meet financial targets.
Mrs Thomson added: “There needs to be a consultation with the people of Crouch End.
“The council has a responsibility to meet the needs of everyone in the community and we have the right to have our say.”
In a statement on its website the council said: “Unfortunately, it has now become clear that it is not possible for Fusion to maintain diving boards at Park Road.
“The moving floor does not allow for a deep enough pool for diving and to maintain diving at the pool would mean additional costs of more than £1million, as well as delays of six months to improvement works.
“It has therefore been decided that the diving boards should be removed from Park Road.”
Mark Mundy, Fusion Lifestyle’s divisional business manager for Haringey, said: “Fusion Lifestyle is working with Haringey council to deliver a significant increase in participation across the borough, by providing greater access to a wide range of leisure services.
“We are committed to retaining and investing in diving facilities within the borough, as demonstrated by our plans to add new diving boards to the training pool at Tottenham Green Leisure Centre.”
Campaigners have repeatedly said that new diving boards at Tottenham Green would not make up for the loss of the boards in Park Road.
Click here to sign the petition to save Park Road’s Diving facilities.
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