LLANELLI MS Lee Waters has criticised Carmarthenshire County Council for its failure to provide for young children and teenagers in an exciting new development in Llanelli.
A new leisure centre is featured as part of the ambitious life science and wellness village at Delta Lakes in Llanelli. This is set to include a multi-lane swimming pool, toddlers’ splash area, and a separate hydrotherapy pool.
However at a recent briefing on plans for the development, Mr. Waters was dismayed to discover that the designs at present do not include any slides facilities for young people. Mr Waters argues that this risks “giving the impression that this exciting development for people in Llanelli is not something for them (young children and teenagers).”
Mr. Waters wrote to Council Leader Emlyn Dole and asked for the designs to be looked at again in order to include ‘much needed’ facilities for youngsters.
In his response, Cllr. Dole said “extensive engagement” had been undertaken with the local community, and that Pentre Arwel would offer “state of the art dry and wet leisure facilities”. He added that inflatables and wet assault courses would be provided to cater for “thrill-seekers of all ages”.
Responding to the news, Lee Waters said:
“More and better quality facilities for younger people is an issue that I am being asked about a lot at the moment – and I share these concerns. We’re at a point in history where young people’s physical and mental wellbeing is at risk. Even before the pandemic, there were huge concerns about young people’s inactivity which in turn leads to higher stress, greater anxiety and depression. Added to that, is the very real lack of any appealing facilities, venues or services for this age group. We cannot, on one hand, complain about youngsters congregating in town centres or local beauty spots, and then, on the other, deprive them of anywhere to go.”
“It was my understanding that in exchange for moving the swimming pool out of town, the Council would provide something even better for young people. Slides may seem like a small detail, but they represent a lack of consideration for this generation and a massive missed opportunity for this project. The wet facilities currently being offered do not fully meet the needs of this age group.”
The leisure centre is part of phase one of the ambitious Delta Lakes project, and is being delivered by the Council through City Deal funding. As well as the new leisure centre, Pentre Awel, as it will now be called, will feature a range of buildings and facilities such as physical rehabilitation services, assisted living accommodation, a nursing home, open market, social housing plus research, training and skills.