St Albans’ Westminster Lodge pool closed after child’s accident

SWIMMING pools at the new Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre remained closed for more than 24 hours while attention was paid to slippery floors after a child fell and sustained a head injury.

The St Albans leisure centre decided to shut the pools from Thursday afternoon until Saturday morning so floor tiles could be treated to ensure the “safety of its customers”.

It follows reports the entire pool area had to be evacuated when a child slipped and hit their head just days after the centre officially opened on November 10.

Remarking on the recent pool closure Lib Dem leisure spokesman Cllr Anthony Rowlands, who said he has been contacted by numerous concerned residents, said: “It is embarrassing and worrying that it has been necessary to close the pool facilities less than a fortnight after they were opened.

“While it is clearly correct to close the facility until the problem is solved, this episode raises all sorts of questions about why such an obvious and fundamental matter had not been dealt with before the pools were opened.”

Customers were alerted by text that the swimming facilities were out of use due to a “technical issue” last Thursday, and the news was also posted on their website the following day.

Regular user of Westminster Lodge, Green Party Cllr Simon Grover, also commented: “I would say these new buildings do have teething problems but it seems to be quite a big stretch to close the pool. I am very glad they have sorted it out and I hope the management continue to be responsive to the views of the public.”

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Managers Everyone Active confirmed a report was commissioned into the tiles following an accident in the confidence water area, and has apologised to its customers for any inconvenience caused.

n A concerned relative of an employee at Westminster Lodge has hit out at a decision not to pay a number of members of staff until shortly before Christmas.

He said that hourly-paid staff who worked in the cafeteria and the spa had expected to be paid in November but had now been told they would not receive their first pay slip until December 21 even though they had started work at the beginning of this month.

The relative, who did not wish to be named, said: “It appears that salaried staff are being paid but not those paid by the hour. Nothing was said to them at the interview and they had expected to be paid this month.”

A spokesperson for Everyone Active maintained that hourly paid staff were always paid in arrears but they had been paid in November and would be paid in December.