Investigations uncovered "serious problems" at Ely pool

PUBLISHED: 10:52 29 September 2010 | UPDATED: 14:40 29 September 2010

Paradise Pool Ely

Paradise Pool Ely

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THE company in charge of a swimming pool in Ely came under fire from council health inspectors for its poor safety record and litany of complaints from swimmers, documents obtained by the Ely Standard have revealed.

THE company in charge of a swimming pool in Ely came under fire from council health inspectors for its poor safety record and litany of complaints from swimmers, documents obtained by the Ely Standard have revealed.

Environmental officers at the district council visited the Paradise Pool on Newnham Street on 13 occasions last year following complaints from members of the public about poor water quality and skin irritation after visits to the pool.

Freedom of Information documents obtained this week show that the authority’s senior environmental health officer Pamela Pope was eventually forced to issue two prohibition notices against the managers of the pool, Leisure Connection Ltd, due to a serious risk of personal injury arising from excess chlorine in the pool.

In a report to a council management team last year, Mrs Pope said that investigations carried out by the council uncovered “serious problems with health and safety management at the pool,” with “deficiencies at all levels of the management structure.”

In her report Mrs Pope highlighted cases of sore eyes and skin irritation after visits to the pool and also noted an incident involving a pair of swimming shorts which had changed colour after exposure to the water.

A spokesman for the district council said: “When we uncovered the problems at the Paradise Pool last year, we immediately closed the facility and ordered Leisure Connection to tackle the chlorine levels, invest in new plant room equipment and bring in a new management team. This action was taken as a matter of urgency given our concern about the health and safety of the users at the swimming pool.

“Leisure Connection responded quickly and dealt with the problems which were outlined. The pool continues to be monitored and the council will not hesitate to take action again if required.”

Leeds-based company Leisure Connection, manages more than 90 swimming pools across the UK as well as 25 football pitches and four golf courses.

The company came under fire from residents in January after problems with the boiler and chlorine levels kept the pool close for more than a month and the pool closed again in July after reports that tiles had lifted from the floor of the pool.

A spokesperson for the company said: ““We work in partnership with East Cambs District Council to ensure we are offering a great local, community service. The report was carried out about 15 months ago and the recommendations have been and continue to be adhered to.

“We have a fully qualified team of committed lifeguards and our pool regularly achieves top marks in health and safety and pool safety audits.”

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