Councillor pleads for Hove leisure centre reopening to go more swimmingly

A councillor said that he was unable to book a swimming session even though pools were supposed to reopen on Monday (17 August).

Labour councillor John Allcock said that he was a keen swimmer but could not get through to the King Alfred Leisure Centre.

He spoke out at a “virtual” meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Special Policy and Resources Committee yesterday (Friday 14 August).

Councillor Allcock said: “I have been slightly disappointed with the opening of King Alfred as there’s very little accessible information on how to book swimming slots.

“When you go to the Freedom Leisure website, there is very little information, and I’ve been trying to book a swim and have been unable to do that.”

The council’s head of sport and leisure Ian Shurrock said that booking ability would be available on Freedom Leisure’s websites ready for the King Alfred opening on Monday.

But Councillor Allcock said that he had been through Freedom Leisure’s website and could not find a way to book – and he asked council officers to look into it. He even tried phoning during the meeting.

But he added: “My experience is that we have very accessible facilities at reasonable prices, there are excellent opening hours all before the covid lockdown.

“We’ve been able to offer free swimming for children, which is vitally important in a seaside town. It’s important to have those pools open.”

The committee agreed to extend Freedom Leisure’s contract, which started in 2011 and was due to expire next year, until 2024.

Councillors also agreed to waive the management fee that Freedom Leisure was due to pay the council until next March and to renegotiate the fees until 2024.

  1. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    One of the general problems with the King Alfred is that its ancient, wheezing subterranean boiler has to fuel three pools which are linked and so the water in each pool is kept to the high temperature needed for the toddlers’ pool.

    This means that the adult pool soon becomes exhausting.

    One day, perhaps before the King Alfred’s centenary in seventeen years’ time, we shall have a better pool(s).

    Meanwhile, cllr Allcock could consider the virtues of the sea, which is free, open all hours (in safe weather) and its waves mean that twenty minutes therein make for greater exercise than in a pool which requires chlorine and has no view of Hove’s seafront.

  2. Billy Reply

    I swim in the sea a lot at this time of year, but with wet and windy weather expected this coming week the swimming pool will be a welcome alternative and is a safer swimming space for kids.
    My gym reopened two weeks ago and the social distancing and cleaning measures make it feel quite safe. I see no reason why the swimming pool can’t reopen too – beyond their own profitability issues.

  3. SamC Reply

    King Alfred not responsonding to membership enquiries. Back hole.

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