Questions Raised Over Ventnor Paddling Pool

Cllr Graham Perks reported concerns raised by local business people regarding the cafe on the Eastern Esplanade.

There were some heated exchanges at the Winter Gardens last night as the Ventnor Town Council held their TC, Plans and Winter Gardens Management Committee meetings.

Ventnor Paddling Pool To Close at 3pm?We have a great deal to report from the meetings, but start with some concerning issues brought up by Cllr Graham Perks.

During the Plans Committee, Cllr Perks stated that he had been approached by two local business people during the day who raised the following concerns.

Referring to the Ocean Blue Quay cafe on the Eastern Esplanade, he said he’d been told …

“They haven’t got their license down there, but they were selling drinks down there on Saturday”

Although this wasn’t mentioned during the meeting (members of the public are not permitted to interrupt discussions), we understand that a private party was being held at the premises on Saturday and that it was not open to the public.

Cllr Perks went on to say that “they were told that the people that have taken over catering told members of the public that after 3pm no children were allowed to use the paddling pool.”

This is obviously a ludicrous suggestion and one we hope the Parks, Beaches and Countryside Manager can confirm as nonsense. The paddling pool is a public area and not under the control of the lease holders of the adjacent development.

Cllr Perks continued adding that he had not been able to verify any of these statements, but that “The Strevens’ were told when the they took the lease on – there was to be no sub-letting, but have evidently sub-let to the caterers there now.”

Cllr Weslford said he had a copy of the contract and would, in his capacity as a County Councillor take a look and raise the matter at County level if needed.

Glasses by the paddling pool?
Concerns were also raised that drinks served in glasses by the paddling pool is a health and safety risk for anyone using the paddling pool. Cllr Welsford replied that this was something he had already raised.

This is a valid point, although one can imagine it would very pleasant to sit outside the restaurant with a glass of chilled wine, the risk to people moving over to the paddling pool area and glasses being broken is possible quite high and one not considered by the authorities.

Vandalism of the new toilets
Although this wasn’t discussed at the VTC, it is connected to the subject. It was reported on the VB forum at the weekend that some vandalism had taken place in the ladies lavs on the Eastern Esplanade. Toilet paper had been removed from the holders, stuffed down sink plug holes, scattered across the floor and piled into the toilet bowls.

One advantage of the restaurant being open in the evenings is perhaps that this kind of behaviour is less likely to occur in future – hopefully.

Tuesday, 30th June, 2009 1:10pm



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15 Comments on "Questions Raised Over Ventnor Paddling Pool"

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Good point on the glasses. It is common policy for no glass near swimming pools at hotels, swimming pools etc., so it is either plastic glasses or no glasses.

Who’s going to enforce it? Unlike with a hotel with a swimming pool where the hotel owner does not want broken glass near or in his swimming pool there is a clear conflict of interests here: the subleasee running the bar and the council owned paddling pool open to all tourists. Ventnor and the IW Tourist Industry does not need a child to cut it’s feet on… Read more »
steve s

I think we’d need to be very careful with ‘hearsay evidence’ at TC meetings. I dread to think where it might lead!

L Pinkerton

It was a lot quieter 25 years or so again when the paddling pool was closed for a summer.

Steephill Jack

I do hope that Cllr. Perks declared his interest when dealing with issues that concern competing caterers.

Steephill Jack Plugger
Steephill Jack. You may not no, But Cllr perks has looked after many people from Ventnor for a long time. Yes he is a business man and fair play to him. “Think” Steephill Jack. Not everyone is a sad boring old man that only has time to complain. Have you spoken with Mr Perks of Late. May be you should try talking to him and understand that… Read more »

I think SJ was only voicing a political concern….didn’t read any hate there.

Steephill Jack
I have no doubt that Mr. Perks does good things for Ventnor. My only objection is to his combination of Town Councillor with that of contracted caterer at the Winter Gardens.There is a conflict of interests here and he should not comment at Council meetings on any catering issues in Ventnor. He doesn’t seem to understand that and I am told that he did not declare an… Read more »

I’m with No 5 on this – I can’t see Stephill Jack attacking Mr Perks, he is simply stating that Cllr Perks should declare an interest.

SJ Plugger, I think you are reading more into than is there.


I’m also completely with Steepy on this one. Graham Perks may be fine chap, but in the past, vested interests have been allowed to flagrantly influence town council decisions. In other parts of the world they call this corruption. The VTC needs to draw a line under this kind of behaviour. Mayor please take note.

Matthew Chatfield
I don’t know about the Licensing issues – ask my colleagues in Licensing about that – but the paddling pool and the area around it is normally open to the public at all times and is not connected, except by proximity, to the nearby cafe. Like all parks and beaches we can and maybe will hire it out for special events from time to time but so… Read more »
Tony Minx
What the paddling pool area really needed was a cafe/restaurant that served the needs of family groups and small children, NOT a “posh restaurant”. Ice creams for the children, teas etc for the mums and soft drinks would have been good. Perhaps a “stop me and buy one” ice cream vendor would be appropriate? By the way, who decided that the entrance to the Gents should be… Read more »
That’s what Cheetah Marine said they would be creating there. Personally I think a good (maybe even posh) restaurant in the evenings is needed in Ventnor and seems very appropropriate BUT the day time fare needs to be affordable and desirable to those using the paddling pool too. That is after all, what we were promised by Cheetah Marine and those supporting the development when it went… Read more »

I also agree that the Ladies and Gents loos would have been better swapped around. Too late for that now though.


Saw someone today changing a baby’s nappy on the so called “picnic table” nearest to the gents loo. The dirty nappy was left on the table for a few minutes whilst mum got him dressed again. So beware using the tables for “picnics”.