DRIED up ponds in Kidswells park are to be repaired after a shocked resident discovered them bare.

The two ponds were found in a ‘state of disrepair’ according to ward councillor Gurch Singh (Liberal Democrats: St Mary’s) after being alerted by a local mother who discovered there was no water flowing, a build of gunge, and grew concerned over contamination.

Cllr Singh said he contacted council officers who told him the ponds were ‘at the end of their lifespan’.

They added the top pond is leaking and will need to be turned off to allow the water to be drained out of the lower pond so it can dry out for it to be cleaned, refilled, and repaired.

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This was confirmed by fellow ward councillor, Donna Stimson (Conservative), lead member for environment, climate change, and parks, who told the Observer they are being emptied to find the problem and make the necessary repairs.

Cllr Singh said: “Officers reported the problem stems from the fact these ponds are at the end of their lifespan, given the council’s financial position sadly, there is no investment to maintain and improve.

“Unfortunately, the capital bid which would have helped refurbish them was not granted and so the contractor who maintains them is doing the best he can to work with the situation.”

In response, Cllr Stimson said the capital bid was a ‘grander repair’ to make the ponds bigger – but has been put on hold due to budget restraints.

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However, a repair quote will be sought after to fix the leaking pond.

Cllr Stimson said: “The quote will not be the same as the capital bid, we initially put in – which was to enlarge the ponds. It will be a smaller quote just for a repair and if we feel that it’s something we can stretch to, then we will repair it.

“Obviously, we would hate to leave them bare and we’ll just see if we can do a repair and then fill them again.

“We are intending to fix it and it has been on the agenda.”

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She added the council has to be careful spending money due to cuts to keep essential services up and running – but said further funding could be explored via sponsorships or seeking potential section 106 agreement with future developers.

Back in 2011, improvement works were carried out by developer contributions to install a waterfall featuring a bridge in the centre of the park with pathway realignment to protect mature trees to the Bad Godesburg Way entrance.

Officers told Cllr Singh they are looking at three options for the pond and waterfall/streams which include:

  • Fill in the top pond and two streams, remove the bridge and only keep the bottom pond.
  • Keep the two ponds but remove the streams and pipe under the bridge
  • Renovate but keep as it is – most expensive option.

Cllr Singh said: “Kidwells Park is close to my heart a place I spent much of summers as a child there.

“The park was awarded a Green Flag in 2012 for the fifth year in recognition of achieving the national standard for parks and green spaces in England and Wales, a standard I fear the park will lose out on this year.”