Toddlers want to get in the swim at Como

Early risers: (left to right) Kristy Ismay with James, 20 months; Ruth Saunders with Neve, 3; Lynn Messenger and Ellie Parsons with Claudia, 21 months. Picture: Chris Lane
Early risers: (left to right) Kristy Ismay with James, 20 months; Ruth Saunders with Neve, 3; Lynn Messenger and Ellie Parsons with Claudia, 21 months. Picture: Chris Lane

COMO pool users are seeking a change in its operating hours to better accommodate younger children.

The pool is open 1pm to 6pm, Monday to Friday, and noon to 7pm, Saturdays and Sundays.

Ellie Parsons said a morning opening time would be more user-friendly for young children, such as her daughter, Claudia, 21 months, who often had an afternoon nap.

"It's only the little ones who can use the pool during the day because the bigger kids are at school," she said.

"When you have young children, they usually have to be fed by 11am so they can have a nap.

"If they opened the pool earlier, I think a lot more mums would be able to bring their children down here."

Kristy Ismay likes to bring her son, James, 20 months, to the pool but agreed the hours are too restrictive.

"Children under five are usually napping between noon and 3pm, so there's no way we can use the pool," she said.

Lynn Messenger uses the pool with her grandchildren.

"The pool is basically for young children, due to its depth, so why would the council have it opening at a time when most young children are going home for their afternoon nap?" she said.

"The pool is also in need of some sort of shade cover. I assume that a cover over the pool would be seen by the council as a health and safety issue."

A Sutherland Shire Council spokeswoman said that in the interest of public safety, a qualified lifeguard was on duty during opening hours and increased hours would double the cost at what essentially a free service.

She said staff would have to be rostered on in two shifts, rather than the single shift now in place.

Sutherland Shire mayor Steve Simpson said discussion about the pool took place as part of public consultation for the Como Pleasure Grounds master plan.

"I'm happy to look at it again during budget preparations, but it is a question of supply and demand," he said.

"It is not much use having it open at a time of day when only four or five people are using it.

"Consultation was done and the opening time was set, but the door is not closed. We can look at it again in the future."

He said the request for a shade cover over the pool will be put forward for consideration as part of the 2014-15 budget.

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