The Castle Sports Complex Swimming Pool.

Legal action over leisure facilities

The company that previously ran leisure facilities in the district is facing legal action over the state it left the facilities in.

South Holland District Council has issued a Schedule of Dilapidations against 1Life which ran facilities including the Castle Sports Complex and the Peele Leisure Centre in Long Sutton for 20 years up to March 1 this year.

In law a Schedule of Dilapidations is a list of items in need of repair which are breaches of the terms of the lease.

After a string of complaints about the centres, particularly the Castle Swimming Pool, Parkwood were granted a five-year contract to run the services from that day, with the council reporting membership and usage up since.

It includes the pool being full with customers for the first time in five years in the first week of the summer holidays.

An update on the facilities came before the district council’s Performance Monitoring Panel last week where its chair Bryan Alcock asked why the poor state of the facilities had not been picked up sooner.

“It seems it’s evident there had been a problem for some time,” he said. “I think we know now the facility was not left in a state one would expect by the previous people that ran it.

“From what little I know about it, the problems must have been building up for some considerable time and we’ve spoke in the past ad nauseam about the problems in monitoring that contract which were corrected but there were problem we didn’t pick up on.”

In response Emily Spicer, the district council’s place manager told the panel that the Dilapidations Schedule had been issued:

“As landlords we are seeking to recoup our loss from the previous tenants as per our contract,” she said. “That will continue to progress for some time.

“Until the tenants left the building the council was unable to evaluate exactly what had and hadn’t happened to our buildings and that is quite standard for any landlord, tenant relationship.

“As soon as the tenant leaves you can look in every nook and cranny.

“Once the tenant left we could do a proper detailed assessment of how that building was left to us.”

The panel heard that usage of the facilities went up by 3 per cent in July compared to June.

In total membership was up 13 per cent across all three sites,

Emily Holmes, SHDC communities manager told the meeting: “That’s really positive as July is normally a quieter month as people go away and it’s hotter.

“There’s been continuous month-on-month increase at the Castle Pool in general with regards swimming figures with July figures up 41 per cent compared to March.

“That’s really important to us because one of the main areas of dissatisfaction from the public, members and ourselves was the condition and cleanliness at the swimming pool.

“So I’m really pleased to see the changes that have been made are being seen by increasing numbers in general swim.

“In the first week of the summer holidays the pool reached capacity for the first time in five years so people are using it.

“We continue to monitor standards really closely and we’re monitoring our leisure contract as well.”

The Spalding Voice approached 1Life for a comment but had not received one at the time of going to press.

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