A COUNCIL acted properly when refusing a controversial petition to reinstate the swimming lakes in Maldon’s Promenade Park, a council has found.

Maldon District Council’s overview and scrutiny committee reviewed the council’s decision after a complaint was made by the group who submitted the petition.

Petition committee leaders, Lisa Cullumbine and Marie Ellis said the council had not given proper consideration to the suggestion and believed a working party should have been established.

Councillor Stephen Savage stated that, though the decision was regrettable, the correct process had been followed by councillors.

He added: “This petition was brought up by people in my ward and I was asked to sign it but declined as they had not got a business plan.

“The petition did not come up to the standard required, but the chairman of the council allowed it to come through anyway which is to his credit.

“At the end of the day there should have been a business plan, and the petition committee had not gone down that route. They expected us to do it for them.

“Regrettably, I think the council on balance acted the right way.”

Responding to criticism from the group behind the petition, which included comparisons between the swim lakes and Blackwater Leisure Centre, and access to information provided, Richard Holmes, director of customers and community, said the council had acted correctly.

Mr Holmes added: “The operation of the Blackwater Leisure Centre is not comparable with the operation of the former proposed swimming lake. This fact had no bearing on the decision made by members and does not highlight any issues for further scrutiny.

“Members had full access to the information necessary to form an opinion, therefore officers believe this matter was dealt with properly.”

Councillor Mark Heard disagreed with Mr Holmes, arguing that the “public perception” was councillors hadn’t fully considered the matter.

He proposed that the committee recommend a working group be set up to discuss plans to reinstate the swim lakes in Promenade Park in more detail, but received no support.

Instead, the committee agreed that the petition didn’t require any further investigation.