Jo Parked reported that over the past few months, there had been a lot more feedback due to the new centre. Two thousand customer comments had been received and the top three issues had been highlighted as the following;
As a result of the feedback, a number of changes had been made to the swim timetable, which included additional evening lane swimming sessions as well as changes to the learner pool to include Twins club on a Thursday. The Saturday inflatable session would be removed as the attendance numbers were lower and it was felt that far more families would attend day time swimming.
Pete Leamore added that the initial reason for the inflatable being introduced was with a view to stimulate the casual swimming market; that had worked in a lot of places however due to the new pool it was felt it that currently was not needed and they would devote more time to casual swimming. The inflatable would still be available for parties and they were not taking this away; it could be reintroduced at a later date. He also advised that a number of comments had been received about the size of the lanes and after testing, it had been agreed to make them double lanes and use four instead of eight. They had also moved from rope to the proper anti-wave lanes as this provided a better quality swim. This could be reviewed; as they had not had an eight lane pool before, it was all about learning how best to use this.
Pete Leamore noted that the project had not yet been finished and Phase 2, which was 6 months work to complete additional car parking, landscaping and lighting, was in progress now that demolition of the old building had been completed. A temporary car park had been added to the site whilst the work was undertaken, although they appreciated that this was not ideal due to the surface and recent weather. The new car park would create 523 spaces whereas previously there were only 360.
This was a culture shock for some customers as there were previously no control measures in place at the old centre. Place Makers had been employed for the first couple of months to support members to learn how to use their new cards and access the centre. There had been a mixed reaction, however there had not been the same levels of vandalism and unauthorised access which had been a real issue on the previous site, which was positive. It was good to control access as previously there had been individuals that tailgated and used the centre for free and it was not right that paying members subsidised those people. There continued to be one or two technical issues but overall it had settled down. Some access control had been disabled, such as for studios for classes, as this had not been practical and larger groups such as schools and clubs could not all be counted in however it was about balance of control with speed of access; this was not there yet but it had improved. One of the main issues was with customers of the concessions, such as the beauty salon and hairdressers, not being able to access these without queuing at main reception. The concessions had now created cards with codes to give to their customers and this had worked well.
David Moore, Bowls, club feedback that there was a lack of lighting on the road to the club venue and this was difficult for users of the building; this was also hired out as a community venue so it was vital that this was looked into. Janine Pickering explained that this was a private road and that the bowls club were encouraged to use the parking area on the leisure centre side; however she would look into this.
Edward Szary, fitness, said that he had feedback from customers regarding the cycling shed and asked whether there would be anything additional put in as they felt that they were far away from the centre and they were not encouraged to cycle due to the security risk. Janine Pickering confirmed there would not be any additional cycling sheds however once phase two had been completed, the whole area would be more open and lit and this would improve the issue.
Paul Kirkpatrick provided feedback from EDSAD regarding some issues with access into the learner pool, as well as a few improvements that could benefit the showers and changing areas. They had also felt that the addition of a second pool pod would be beneficial. These comments were noted and the issues with the showers were being addressed.