Bowlers have been shivering indoors and early morning swimmers locked out as complaints pile up about Spalding’s council-owned sports venues.
Castle Bowling Club members have endured two to three weeks without proper heating and, on Sunday, 66 people attending a tournament sat down in their coats to eat a meal.
In December and January bowlers were on the rinks with coats and gloves after the heating failed.
Bowls club chairman Roger Perkins said this week: “Unfortunately we have become this laughing stock of the complete bowling circuit and yet we are one of the top clubs in the country.”
District councillor Angela Newton is getting complaints from early morning swimmers who turn up at Castle Swimming Pool to find it locked, with the latest incident on November 8, and says South Holland District Council officers told a recent performance monitoring panel “that sometimes there is not enough staff available”.
But a council spokesman told us the pool closed on a handful of occasions due to technical issues, rather than a lack of staff.
Coun Newton says the council should enforce its contract with 1Life, which manages the sports facilities, so everything runs as it should.
In her latest ward newsletter, Coun Newton says: “Some say our sports facilities are being seen as second rate by visitors from other areas where councils take a pride in making facilities a top priority and users feel that, as local long term customers, they are being let down year after year.”
Over the past few years, there have been problems with dirt and mould in changing rooms at the pool, as well as complaints about pool water being too cold.
Coun Newton says she’s getting complaints that the swimming pool is “not very clean some days” and reports of broken toilet seats, and other easily fixed faults, not being treated as a priority.
Mr Perkins said the bowlers have again been making do with temporary gas heaters over the last three weeks and, on Sunday, four were placed on the rink.
But he said the area where they ate their meal was like an icebox.
The heating was fixed at about 4.30pm on Monday.
He said: “It’s taken a long, long while to get the heating back on again.” The council says portable heaters were “mainly situated in the playing area at the request of the club”.
• South Holland District Council (SHDC) says it is robustly managing its contract with 1Life.
Mr Perkins claims heating was the only issue fixed out of a dozen raised by the club, including a blocked drain in the gents’ toilet that makes the floor flood.
A council spokesman said: “We continue to robustly manage the contract for the Castle Sports complex and actively work with 1Life to address issues that have been raised with us. If anyone has concerns over conditions at the complex they should report this on site at reception or by phone, 01775 725978, email saspalding@1Life.co.uk or 1Life’s online feedback form.
“We would also like to point out a couple of inaccuracies in terms of claims made by the complainers.
“Firstly, the pool has had to close on a handful of occasions this year due to technical issues, rather than because of a lack of staff.
“Also the bowls club have been made aware of issues that have either been repaired or will be fixed soon, with improvements due to take place around their matches.”
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