Under-fire Spalding pool IS fit for purpose, says council

Coun Gary Taylor
Coun Gary Taylor
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The district council has 
defended Spalding’s swimming pool, which has once again come in for a barrage of criticism.

The pool temperature, the state of its changing rooms and its unreliable showers were slammed during a meeting of the town forum last week.

And when we published our report of the meeting online, it met with another 50-plus comments, nearly all critical of the much-maligned leisure facility.

But yesterday Coun Gary Taylor, portfolio holder for community at South Holland District Council, said: “The swimming pool is fit for purpose and we have a maintenance budget to ensure it stays this way.

“Our contract with 1Life (who run the Castle Sports Complex where the pool is based) runs until 2018 and we will continue to work with them to ensure the best quality of service is delivered.

“The staff at the Castle Sports Complex do an excellent job and are happy to deal with any issues customers may have.”

However, on our Facebook page, visitors were amost universal in their condemnation, with many saying they now travel to Bourne.

Natasha Ellis said: “ It is disgusting and dated. It’s been too cold for years now, I wouldn’t take my baby there or child.”

Lisa Sedgwick added: “It’s annoying keep travelling to Bourne for a decent swim with the kids.”

Carol Stevens: “I recently started swimming again after a year or two break – haven’t seen a cleaner in the changing rooms yet whereas before there would be someone hosing the floor.”

Nick Stockdale: “It’s far too cold for learners and leisure bathers. I understand the 
dilemma but we have a large, expensive facility that is geared up around 20 or so habitual swimmers and the hundreds of casual users can freeze. We don’t complain to the desk because it’s seen as a bureaucratic government run organisation. However, we all hate the temperature.”

Sarah Wright: “The problem is you cannot make a building that is old into new, it’s patch work.”

Wendy Patrick: “My son goes swimming with the school there and he has said the water is cold compared to the other pools we have visited.”

Sarah Keyzers: “Broken tiles in baby pool and sand in bottom of the pool plus too cold.”

Sam Brown: “It’s rubbish. We need one nearer the Suttons area. I have nearly an hour round trip if I want a swim.”

There were some who defended the pool, however, with Will Stevenson saying: “Used to swim every week at sixth form and I really couldn’t complain.”

Linda Patterson: “Once you start swimming you warm up.”

Ian Machin : “I go three times every week to swim. I wonder if the complainers about the pool temperature are the same people who just stand at the ends talking instead of actually swimming?”

In their own statement, issued after last week’s town forum meeting, 1Life said duty managers perform water tests in the main pool, teaching pool and dive pool every two hours during the opening hours of the pool to ensure the suitability of the water temperature for customers.

The temperatures they aim for are 28-29 degrees (main pool), 28 degrees (dive pool) and 29-30 degrees (teaching pool).

“These temperatures are designed to make the type of swimming that is undertaken in each of these pools comfortable for the participants.”

They say that during the last three months the dive pool and teaching pool have always maintained these temperatures and the main pool has only fallen below temperature six times, and then only by 0.5 degrees.

During that time over 40,000 people have visited the pool and there have been just three verbal complaints and two written ones.

“1Life does take the comfort of its visitors very seriously and responds to every customer complaint regarding pool temperatures.”