Following is a question by the Hon Tam Yiu-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr W K Lam, in the Legislative Council today (May 9):
Some members of the public have complained to me about the absence of a standard pool in Tin Shui Wai Swimming Pool and that, due to the large number of users, they often have to wait for a long time before they can be admitted to the Pool. Also, as the opening hours of the venue are divided into sessions, swimmers usually have less than an hour to swim after queuing up for admission for a long time. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) of the Pool's capacity for swimmers at any one time;
(b) of the average daily attendance of the Pool in the previous swimming season;
(c) whether it has worked out the average waiting time for admission to the Pool; if it has, of the data for the previous swimming season;
(d) of the reasons for not providing a standard pool there; and
(e) whether it will consider providing a standard pool there or in the Yuen Long district, and reducing the number of sessions; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
(a) The Tin Shui Wai Swimming Pool can accommodate a maximum of 710 swimmers at any one time.
(b) The Tin Shui Wai Swimming Pool recorded an average daily attendance of 1 083 persons in the previous swimming season.
(c) The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) has not officially maintained statistics on the average waiting time for admission to the Pool. However, based on the observation of its staff, the waiting time is normally less than 20 minutes. Some swimmers may have to wait for more than 20 minutes during peak hours on public holidays in summer.
(d) The Tin Shui Wai Swimming Pool was opened in 1994. At the planning stage, there was already a standard pool in the Yuen Long district (i.e. the Yuen Long Public Swimming Pool). It was therefore decided that a leisure pool should be built in Tin Shui Wai. The provision of different types of pools could offer diversified swimming facilities for the enjoyment of residents of the entire Yuen Long district.
(e) Given the site constraints, it is not possible to provide a standard pool within the Tin Shui Wai Swimming Pool complex. However, in view of the growing population in Yuen Long district, LCSD is considering the building of a standard pool on a piece of land reserved as open space in Tin Shui Wai Area 107. The scope of the facilities to be provided is still at the planning stage. When LCSD has formulated a more definite plan, it will seek government funding in accordance with procedures for Public Works Programmes. As regards the number of sessions, it is an established practice for public swimming pools in the New Territories to have three sessions. Such an arrangement has been widely accepted by the public. Recently, we have conducted a review and considered that it is appropriate to maintain the existing arrangement. The main reasons are to facilitate cleansing, to maintain the pool water quality up to the required standard, and to enable swimming associations and teams to train during the sessional breaks.
End/Wednesday, May 9, 2001