Having just been told by a @lambeth_council elected official that the leisure policy of the Labour led administration is a “success story” (more to follow…) I returned back to my SW8 base to find a great comment from an ex-Lambeth leisure user.
David’s experience of the mismanagement of leisure in the Rotten Borough mirrors the experience of most users that I have spoken with since the Lambeth leisure meltdown. I felt the comment needed more of a public platform, and so I have published it in full as a separate post.
“Leisure will be a major issue at the 2010 local elections,” as the good Councillor Haselden told me this morning.
Too bloody right.
“So angry and frustrated! I’m Andrew’s swimming housemate who after 14 years of pleasure and misery using Lambeth pools, has finally given up. It’s too early to say how successful the membership move to Nuffield and the Queen Mother will be, but my first visit was a success with reasonable room in the pool and organised system and friendly staff (not that the staff at Clapham and Brixton were not friendly,) and great promise as well as hot water and lots of it in the showers and keys in the lockers.
I never really went back to Brixton much after the last upgrade and changing room debacle, preferring to stay at the decaying Clapham. It is so galling that everything closes at the same time, and at a time that swimming is supposedly being encouraged.
I knew that the 8 weeks upgrade (yeah right that will really happen on time) followed by severe overcrowding would be a miserable and stressful experience for me instead of relaxing and health promoting. I am so glad I am not putting myself through it.
Surely closing all the pools and sports centres with the resulting lack of provision and overcrowding is also a stupid idea at the beginning of the year when many people take on new membership. Trying to to get a regular swim in Lambeth at a regular time has for many years been made as difficult as possible. Women only swims and private lessons in peak times amongst other things have left pathetic lanes which are too narrow to pass in.
I’ve given up on the feedback sessions and customer suggestion forms which were ignored. I was ashamed I didn’t go to the last Clapham meeting to tell the council organisers what I thought of their organisation, but it just didn’t seem worth my while to waste more of my time. All I can say is I’m glad I finally jumped ship, come on in the waters fine. Good luck to you onion blog and my fellow Lambeth swimmers.”
Many thanks to David for the comment.