Lack of lifeguards at newly renovated pool getting swimmers in a splash - The Leamington Observer

Lack of lifeguards at newly renovated pool getting swimmers in a splash

SWIMMERS at Newbold Comyn Leisure Centre in Leamington are getting in a splash over the newly-rennovated pool.

It reopened in August but those first to take the plunge are angry at having been restricted to using just half of the lanes available in the 25metre pool due to a lack of lifeguards.

One frustrated reader said: “The last time I went six swimmers were being forced to use a single lane. It left next to no space to pass swimmers coming in the other direction, and at one point I kicked someone behind me.

“It’s ridiculous. If they are going to run these sessions then they need to have enough staff to supervise them. It’s not as though they are even offering any discount.”

Newbold Comyn, and neighbouring St Nicholas Leisure Centre in Warwick, are the subject of an on-going refurbishment by Warwick District Council costing nearly £15million.

The revamp has not been without controversy, and Labour group councillors were particularly angry at the authority appointing private contractor Everyone Active to run the centres, rather than continuing to run them in-house.

Labour councillor Kristie Naimo said: “I’ve been a regular swimmer at Newbold Comyn for many years, and when the leisure centre was run by the council I was never told I couldn’t swim due to lack of lifeguards.

“I think the public have tolerated a fair amount of disruption and allowed for teething problems in recent months but surely adequate staffing by the pool is a priority.

“Under this new management, costs have increased and the council have invested heavily in these centres so I think the public deserve a better service.”

And Coun Naimo added other complaints received included restrictions on public swimming times.

Gary Titford, general manager at Newbold Comyn Leisure Centre, said the company was committed to delivering a swim timetable that met the needs of the community.

He told the Observer: “Customer safety is our number one priority. The number of lifeguards on duty compared to customers using the pool always meets industry safety standards.

“The number of lifeguards on duty and pool space made available is adapted depending on demand.

“At certain times throughout the day, both the main pool and learner pool will be closed off to the public when they are being used for swimming lessons, private parties and by local clubs. Our swim timetable is continuously reviewed to ensure that it meets the needs of schools, clubs and the public.

“We are in the process of recruiting full-time and casual lifeguards to enable us to cater for the local community during busy periods.”

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