‘Who removed the Herring Pond diving board?’

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COLERAINE Council’s efforts at maintaining the Herring Pond in Portstewart as a “valued” asset has been rubbished as “humbug” by one resident.

Alex Carmichael from Council gave an update to Portstewart Community Vision at their public meeting on Tuesday on the swimming areas in the resort.

Mr Carmichael said that Council valued the natural swimming locations such as the Herring Pond and Portnahapple and were working to maintain and improve these areas.

However, one resident said that Council’s assertion that they value the Herring Pond was “humbug”.

“For the last 20 years, Coleraine Borough Council have done nothing,” he said.

“It is a disgrace.”

The man said he had used the Freedom of Information Act to ask Council about the removal of the diving board from the Herring Pond.

He said that he was told there were no minutes of any discussion on this matter.

The man said he believed that “some Council officer did this off his own bat without telling councillors.

“If I did that, the police would be on my back and I would end up in Magilligan [prison].

“This resort has no real amenities. There are no diving boards at Portnahapple or the Herring Pond. What is wrong with us?”

Alex Carmichael said that he appreciated the man’s concerns.

He said that he would love to move the diving boards back tomorrow however risk assessments had to be carried out regarding Health and Safety legislation.

A Council spokesman said: “The item in question was removed over 30 years ago on the basis of health and safety concerns at that time. Council records in relation to this particular issue do not go back that far.”