The cause was metal theft. It seems that thieves had broken into the centre overnight and removed metal piping used to heat the baby pool and for the centre’s air conditioning.
Many other local residents will have been disappointed at not being able to use Stood Leisure Centre. No doubt there will also be substantial costs for the council in replacing the piping and fixing the pool heating and central heating. At least there was no risk to life in this case as there has been in other incidents where metal has been stolen.
Even when there is not a threat to safety, when metal is stolen the cost to the victim of repair and making good the theft is often many, many times the value of the metal stolen.
Tackling metal theft must therefore be a high priority. I am delighted to support Chris Kelly MP and his parliamentary group dedicated to combating metal theft.
The government is now preventing metal trade in cash which should make it much harder for metal crime to pay, and further steps are also be taken. Kent Police have also staged a series of raids on suspect metal dealers and I know this is a high priority for out Chief Constable, Ian Learmonth.
Our candidate to be Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent, Councillor Craig Mackinlay, is the man to ensure that the pressure is kept up until we squeeze illegal metal thieves and traders out of Kent.