WISBECH: Swimmers say they are dismayed by plan to create unisex changing rooms

PUBLISHED: 12:05 04 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:05 02 June 2010

Hudson Leisure Centre, Wisbech

Hudson Leisure Centre, Wisbech

A DECISION to create unisex changing rooms at the Hudson Leisure Centre has been met with dismay by regular swimmers. The new communal changing rooms are part of the current scheme to revamp of the pool, funded by Sport England and Fenland District Counci

A DECISION to create unisex changing rooms at the Hudson Leisure Centre has been met with dismay by regular swimmers.

The new communal changing rooms are part of the current scheme to revamp of the pool, funded by Sport England and Fenland District Council.

"There has been no consultation, we are going to start a petition against it," said Jenny George, who swims almost every day, completing around 150 lengths at the pool every week.

"If this goes ahead I would consider boycotting the pool, and a lot of people feel the same way."

But Fenland District Council says it had no choice but to create communal changing rooms, because it was a condition of £314,000 worth of grant funding from Sport England. The council have also funded the scheme to the tune of £70,000.

"We would not have got the money if we had not agreed to communal changing rooms," said the spokesman. "It is not something the Hudson decided on its own, or Fenland District Council decided. It is something insisted on by Sport England and the ASA.

"Their guidance is that communal changing rooms are better for families, child protection, and keeping the area clean."

But Jenny is not convinced that communal changing will be good for the pool.

"I go to France a lot, and yes there are communal changing rooms there, but I don't feel comfortable. I am English and want to remain English," she said.

She added: "No plans have been put on display."

The new changing rooms will include individual changing cubicles. The showers will be communal, except for two individual enclosures with doors.

The gym is being significantly improved, with a new 50 place room due to open next Friday. The centre's reception has already been refurbished. A casualty of the revamp will be the health suite, which will see the loss of either the sauna or steam room.


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