Swimming pool is too cold for some – claim

The swimming pool complex in Spalding is under fire from critics who say the water is too cold and football changing rooms are "disgusting". SG200915-113TW
The swimming pool complex in Spalding is under fire from critics who say the water is too cold and football changing rooms are "disgusting". SG200915-113TW
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The main swimnming pool at the Castle Sports Complex is too cold for some users and that could be off-putting for kids who need to learn to swim, it’s been claimed.

Coun Graham Dark, chairman of a disabled swimming club, wants to know who decided the “agreed temperatures” – said to be ideal for those doing lengths or playing water polo, but too chilly for leisure users and disabled swimmers.

We live near a river and we should be encouraging people with children to go to the pool and learn to swim there.

Coun Graham Dark

He said: “It does strike you as cold unless you move about. What concerns me is the agreed temperature.

“If you go into a leisure pool (elsewhere), they are significantly warmer than this.”

Coun Dark said leisure swimmers may be going off to other towns and suggested people should write to the press to say what they think.

“We live near a river and we should be encouraging people with children to go to the pool and learn to swim there.”

The comments were made at Spalding Town Forum, which can be attended by all town ward district councillors and usually involves representatives from groups like the civic society, and were sparked by half-a-dozen complaints made to forum chairman Coun George Aley.

There was a suggestion that members could hold their next meeting at the sports complex, to which Coun Angela Newton replied: “Not in the changing rooms because they stink.”

Coun Newton continued: “One of my friends said the changing facilities that the footballers pay to hire within the swimming pool complex are pretty dire.”

But Coun Dark said they were worse than that with tiles hanging off the walls in the showers and they are made dirty by users.

“Having looked at them I would say they are disgusting – they are not dire,” he said.

Councillor and pub landlord Pete Williams said he has three teams running out of the Punchbowl and they prefer to use the Monks House Playing Field, which is further away, rather than the Castle Sports Complex.

Coun Dark asked: “If a football team comes in from another town, what impression do they go away with?”

Coun Williams wondered if “a bit of paint could be put on the walls” in the changing rooms to smarten them up – and also suggested grouping users of the pools so the water could be warmer or cooler according to their needs.

Coun Roger Gambba-Jones said people who swim lengths tend to do so every day so that would not be a solution for them.

And Coun Taylor said if users make the football changing rooms dirty, that’s the users’ problem and not the council’s problem.

Later he explained the football changing rooms are the main problem, not the ones people use when they swim.

Quoting from a statement issued by 1Life, who run the Castle Sports Complex, Coun Taylor said “acceptable” water temperatures are: 28-29C (main pool), 28C (dive pool) and 29-30C (teaching pool).

In the last 90 days, there were only six times when the main pool water slipped below the agreed level – the lowest being 27.5 – and that fall existed for no longer than four hours.

The statement said there were 40,000 uses of the pool in the 90 days and there were only three verbal complains and two written complaints about pool temperature.

The company outlined its “rigorous checking procedure”, with duty managers testing the water temperature every two hours, and said it takes “the comfort of its visitors very seriously”.