Archived on 6/5/2022

Forest Hill Pools

26 Feb '19

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 have told me that they 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,