Slippery paddling pools treated with textured surface ‘now so rough they could graze children’s feet’

Cautious councillor Cathy Augustine wants warning signs erected at the pools that are now rough underfoot in North Wales
Cautious councillor Cathy Augustine wants warning signs erected at the pools that are now rough underfoot in North Wales - Wales News

Paddling pools that were closed for being too slippery have been treated with a rough textured coating that could hurt children’s feet, a councillor has warned.

The four bathing spots in the North Wales resorts of Llanfairfechan, Penmaenmawr, Rhos on Sea and Craig y Don in Llandudno were closed for the summer months in a health and safety crackdown last year.

Conwy council blamed a “high risk of people slipping” for the move last April, which sparked a public outcry from families and tourism chiefs.

Now the pools are due to reopen with a new “non-slip” surface – but a councillor claims this is unsafe too.

Cathy Augustine, a Plaid Cymru member of the council who defected from Labour over its stance on Israel, now wants officials to erect large warning signs in case children are injured on the “rough” new surface.

“We are in the business of making people feel as safe as we possibly can, especially, of course, our children. But there is a risk with any activity,” she said.

“The new surfaces are textured. When people are paddling or swimming, your skin will become softer, so if you are not wearing those shoes, that texture may graze your foot. Or if you fall heavily, you may graze. But you shouldn’t slip and crack your heads open anymore.”

She called for warning signs about the new surface to be “bigger and in a really obvious place”.

Exasperated locals are less than impressed, having endured the closure of the four pools for all of last year. Aside from one other location, they are the last remaining facilities of their kind in North Wales

One mother said: “People will whinge about anything, kids get grazed knees all the time from just playing out, what difference does it make? I’d rather have a grazed knee than a hospital trip with split heads.”

One father said it was “just incredible”, adding: “The pools have been out of action for all of last year due to new rules requiring them to be non-slip, despite zero evidence of anyone being injured slipping.

“Now they have put the anti-slip in, you need pool shoes to avoid injury on the new surface so signs will be put up.”

Another local said: “How did we cope without all these warning signs? Swimming pools have had rough surfaces for years and years. Parents need to stop wrapping their little ‘darlings’ in cotton wool.”

A spokesman for the independent-run Conwy council said: “We’re aware of comments about the paddling pool surfaces.

“The non-slip coatings have been applied to the paddling pools and have successfully been tested in wet and dry conditions. It is important to note that these are outdoor facilities and advice for using them is displayed on the signs at the pools.”