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Action demanded for 'disgraceful' King Alfred Leisure Centre
2:20pm Monday 16th April 2012 in News
Residents are calling on council officials to sort out the “disgraceful and disgusting” King Alfred Leisure Centre.
Visitors to the centre have contacted The Argus to complain about everything from the state of the showers and dingy lighting to broken lockers and out-of-order toilets.
One regular swimmer, who asked not to be named, said: “I think it’s disgraceful. The showers are all unisex and the other day the drain was blocked and dirty water was coming out.
“It’s disgusting and completely unhygienic.”
Debbie Knowles, 56, from Patcham, added: “The facilities are really not up to standard.
“The sports hall is the worst I have ever been in and the loos are filthy.
“All you hear about on the TV is how our children are overweight but we’re not providing the facilities for them.
“Not everyone can afford to go to a private gym.”
The centre in Kingsway, Hove, is a local authority facility but Brighton and Hove City Council pays Freedom Leisure Trust to run it on its behalf.
The pool and changing rooms are currently in the middle of a refurbishment with work due to finish in late May.
An Argus reporter went for a swim to investigate the problems and found people were forced to use a small communal changing area with just a few cubicles.
A number of the showers in the unisex blocks were not working and about a third of the lockers were either taped up or hanging off their hinges. The toilets consisted of a row of temporary loos while the disabled toilet was out of order.
A council spokesman said: “In a busy leisure centre things will go wrong occasionally and we fix them.
“It’s possible that these relate to temporary changing facilities in place as we build some excellent new changing facilities for the swimming pool.
“Mixed showers are common in pools these days and aim to enable families to stay together – for fathers to supervise their young daughters for example. We’ll also be creating some individual shower cubicles, giving more privacy for those who want it.”
Neil Roberts, the Freedom Leisure area manager, added: “There will always be challenges during any refurbishment but we’re working as hard as we can to minimise disruption and inconvenience to our customers.
“We’re all looking forward to the works being completed when we’ll have fantastic new changing facilities for all. We hope that customers can bear with us for just a little bit longer.”
What do you think?