Cold water poured on idea for seafront gym

Gym equipment in Noble's Park, Douglas

Gym equipment in Noble's Park, Douglas

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With Douglas promenades being lashed by giant waves in recent days, the idea of seafront exercise equipment might have seemed a little misplaced.

And it came as no surprise that councillors were keen to pour cold water on the proposals at the latest town hall meeting.

The suggestions were put forward by the regeneration and community advisory committee after an online survey with 491 respondents showed 74.95 per cent would use the outdoor gym equipment.

Other suggestions to encourage people to use the promenades included a cold shower at Broadway, drinking water fountains, soft floor areas, a model solar system and installing distance markers for runners.

But Council leader David Christian (Hills ward) urged members to look at the recent damage caused to the seafront, including to the railings, benches and bins.

Dismissing water fountains as unhygienic and old-fashioned and a cold shower as likely to be vandalised ‘in no time whatsoever’, Mr Christian said: ‘I think the committee has gone mad to be honest with you.’

David Ashford (Victoria) said that while the gym equipment was designed to be durable for outdoor use, he didn’t think it meant it covered the storms that hit the island.

‘We would probably find them on the other side of the prom by the time the storm was finished,’ he said.

Ritchie McNicholl (Murrays) said: ‘I think it is a wish list I hope the committee will turn down once the costs come in.’

He added: ‘If they wanted a shower, they should have gone to the prom last week.’

Sara Hackman (St George’s) said that on Boxing Day, the promenades would have been one of the most well-used spots in the island with walkers and young families using it.

‘To improve it, all we need to do is to make sure we have a very clean prom, free from obstructions, dog mess and barriers,’ she said.

In response, Bill Malarkey (Murrays), a member of the regeneration and community advisory committee, told councillors the suggestions had come from residents.

‘The council has to decide if it wants a living promenade,’ he said.

‘Do you want us to listen to what the public want?’

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