Belfast Telegraph

Water in Belfast swimming pool too cold, says union

By Rebecca Black

A Belfast swimming pool is too cold for people with special needs or the very young to use, a union has claimed.

Members of Unite have claimed that temperatures at the swimming pool at Ballysillan Leisure Centre are too low for many swimmers.

They claimed a decision was taken to empty the swimming pool on Monday evening.

It was then closed yesterday morning and when it re-opened it was half a metre below its usual operating depth and just 26 degrees centigrade - lower than the normal 29.5-31 degree range.

Unite has raised the matter with the Health and Safety Executive. Unite regional officer Michael Keenan said the Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL) management opened the pool at 1.15pm yesterday despite concerns being raised by union members.

"This is only the latest in a string of incidents which have raised health and safety concerns among our members working in leisure centres formerly operated by Belfast City Council," he claimed. "

"Unite members actively discouraged a group of special needs users and a father with a young infant from the facility, both because of concerns about the inappropriate temperature and the health and safety issues of using a shallow pool."

A spokesperson for GLL responded: "On the evening of Monday, 1 May staff at Ballysillan Leisure Centre dropped the water level in the swimming pool in order to carry out a minor repair. On Tuesday morning the swimming pool water was topped up to its normal level using cold water from the mains - this is standard industry practice. The mains water brought the average temperature of the pool water down slightly for a few hours."

The spokesperson added: "All customers and community groups visiting the pool this afternoon were advised that the pool water would be slightly colder than normal. The temperature of swimming pool water is not a health and safety issue."

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