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Forest Hill Pools
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Cllr Sophie Davis
Lewisham Councillor

Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2018
Post: #1
26-02-2019 11:46 AM

Hi all,

As you know, we (councillors) received a number of complaints regarding Forest Hill Pools. I met Lance Codling (FH Pools Manager), Lee Clark (Lewisham Divisional Manager) and responsible Council officers to discuss the issues.

I also invited Fusion to attend our Assembly meeting last weekend, to address residents. Below is a quick summary of what was discussed (as well as what I have been told separately) regarding specific issues.

- Gym equipment not working: All bar one of the machines have now been fixed. Fusion had issues with their subcontractor and FH Pools are now using a different one.
- Diving blocks not working: They are currently being repaired.
- Barriers not working: Staff are waiting on a date for repair - should be done within the next few weeks.
- Insufficient classes (yoga and Pilates), classes being scheduled at the wrong time (eg at school pick up) and being regularly cancelled: Fusion are currently looking for instructors; the class programme is being reviewed and a new one will be in place in April. Customer surveys are being done in advance of that. The policy is to cover classes cancelled due to annual leave and to let all customers who have booked know.
- Locker thefts (which mostly took place in the Autumn): Improved security has been put in place (while CCVT cannot of course be installed in wet changing rooms, staff are monitoring them more closely). Staff have apprehended the culprit and the matter has been referred to the Police. We (councillors) are following this up with FH Police.
- Staff shortages: Fusion continue to look for staff. They are currently running a lifeguard course as well as apprenticeships.
- Poor level of cleanliness: Fusion have cleaners in for 4 hours of the day and staff and complementing this as and when necessary; they will be more vigilant about people wearing overshoes in changing rooms.
- Water temperature (too low): There was a boiler issue, which is now fixed. The contract with Lewisham includes a self monitoring system - Fusion have to notify Lewisham every time the water falls below the required level.
- Lack of engagement with customers: Lance Codling holds a monthly “meet the manager” and Fusion carry out user and non user surveys.
- Plastic merchandise being sold in the lobby - There are mixed views on this (some people like them, while others don’t). In the past, Fusion had toys and books in the lobby but those got damaged easily. They will look into providing a better mix.
- Pool use for children with disabilities: Fusion will look into this more.
- Loud music in gyms: Staff can change it if customers speak to them.
- Fusion financial position: Lance Codling referred this to Fusion directors. Councillors will make sure that the wider financial position (and the question of whether poor performance is due to pressure to cut costs) is raised at the next meeting between officers and Fusion directors.

Lewisham Council officers are aware of residents’ concerns and are working hard to address them, applying the strictest monitoring regime available within the contract (including financial penalties where the service does not mean the minimum standard) and meeting Fusion directors regularly.

We (councillors) will continue to liaise with Fusion (directly at the local level and via officers at the corporate level) and council officers to monitor the situation and track improvements. Please continue to send us your comments (good or bad), as well as sending them directly to Lewisham Council, and we will continue to keep you informed on here.

Many thanks,
Sophie

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Cllr Sophie Davis
Lewisham Councillor

Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2018
Post: #2
08-05-2019 11:08 AM

Hi all,

You may be aware that a serious leak/flood has occurred at Forest Hill pools, which has led to water coming through into reception from somewhere in the first floor shower/toilets facilities.

The Council is aware and officers have attended the site and are liaising with Fusion and technical advisers to agree on a course remedial action.

The latest we know is that the first floor changing rooms and disabled toilets have been taken out of service and that water to the area has been turned off to prevent further waste from being discharged. The lockers, gym, studios and community room on the first floor are still all accessible. The opportunity will be taken to conduct a deep clean of the first floor changing areas and the reception area below.

In order to address the issue a further independent survey of the pipework is being commissioned by the Council and, once the root cause has been identified, work should proceed promptly.

We will pass on any more updates we receive from officers, and Fusion.

On a wider note, since Fusion attended our Assembly meeting, Council officers have been meeting with Fusion directors, who have now agreed to a remedial plan. More details of this will be shared shortly, to enable residents to track and report on progress.

Many thanks,
Sophie

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BigED


Posts: 131
Joined: Jan 2016
Post: #3
20-05-2019 11:33 AM

Are there any more updates on the condition of FH pools and regarding the remedial plan?

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BigED


Posts: 131
Joined: Jan 2016
Post: #4
01-07-2019 12:52 PM

I'm guessing not.

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Cllr Sophie Davis
Lewisham Councillor

Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2018
Post: #5
03-07-2019 08:44 AM

Sorry no, not yet.

I have raised it with the Cabinet member and continue to forward any complaints I receive to officers.

I will update as soon as I know more.

Thanks,
Sophie

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nottinghillbilly


Posts: 459
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #6
22-07-2019 11:03 PM

I was so delighted when the pools opened shortly after we moved into the area however last year I finally had to give up hope on this my nearest centre (I live around the corner) and join a gym in Southwark.
Why? consistently having the two classes I attended there cancelled at short or zero notice, Finding very few classes or general swim times that were geared towards someone like me who works in central london and can only make classes or swim after 6.30pm on weekdays.
I felt unsafe as a middle aged and new swimmer using the pool in the wider general swim lane due to the amount of kids jumping in from the side and not being apprehended by the lifeguards (in the first couple of years there were really good guards there who walked round the pool and told kids off if they were being boistrous these guards left and the others seemed not to care)never being able to get through on the phone to check if my class was cancelled or full and when I occasionally did get through finding reception utterly clueless.
I complained many times to the various general managers (trust me I'm not a complaining type person-I complained because I care about this new valuable community asset being properly run) was always told things would change...they never did. gym equipment out of order for weeks.
The final straw was the filth-ladies toilets poolside often unusable due to being blocked or strewn with filth, Changing rooms with crumbs on floor, soiled items etc and smelling strongly of urine (probably because the toilet is unusable) slippery floors by the pool and in changing areas.
once when I pointed out that a council gym and pool I use near work which was much busier was never as filthy I was told it was "the fault of the local clientele" SO...forest hill people are more disrespectful and dirtier than anywhere else?? I've used council gyms all over the place I don't believe that to be the case. Its a poorly run centre full stop.
I now belong to a council run gym contracted to someone other than Fusion. In 2 years of membership I have no complaints of sort mentioned above in any of their sites.
I really am amazed that Fusion still have the contract with Lewisham as FHP is a heartbreaking example of how badly they run things.

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Cllr Sophie Davis
Lewisham Councillor

Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2018
Post: #7
25-09-2019 11:00 AM

Hi all,

Just a quick update on this as it’s been a few months since the remedial plan has been in place and I’m still receiving a number of complaints.

I’ve been liaising with officers at the council and Fusion regularly about this issue. Officers are also very aware of the issues and are working hard with Fusion to try and improve them. This morning, I met the new(ish) divisional manager for Fusion (Nigel), who I will be meeting monthly to raise issues (so please keep bringing them up).

I’ve been assured that Fusion are taking steps in the coming months to improve standards (including recruiting more staff, adding to the programme, working with the Council to fix the leaks, changing the locks system etc) and I’ve invited Nigel to come to our local assembly (on 16th November) to give an update on what they’ve been doing since they last came. I also encouraged him to sign up to this forum to see what residents are saying and reply directly.

As a user of the Pools with my young daughter (as well as a councillor), I really share your frustration about the lack of progress. But we are keeping up the pressure both with Fusion, and at the Council and I hope that we will be able to make some progress in the coming months.

Thanks,
Sophie

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