A WIGAN family have staged a protest about their council pool and gym package.
Daniel Green, 38, and his children, Oliver, eight and five year old Amalie, have been regular swimmers since taking out Profiles off-peak membership with Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust last November.
But they handed back their cards, which cost a total of £40 a month this week, claiming that they had been treated “disgracefully” after being turned away from pool sessions already over subscribed.
Mr Green, who lives in Gidlow Lane, said: “I have been paying £40 per month for this “service” £20 myself and £10 each for the children.
“There have been several small grievances about the service provided up until now, such as the fact that there is no parking provided for members within easy distance of the Wigan Life Centre. Plus stupid rules such as a very strictly enforced policy of not allowing non-swimmers past a certain point (which makes it extremely difficult to monitor a child who can swim and one who is almost there), anyway these are minor issues.
“But what has decided the issue for us was how we were treated recently.
“As the children are off school at present and we pay for an off-peak (9am-5pm) membership it seems reasonable that I could use the pool at the member’s discretion.
“However on July 24 we were told we could not go in until 4pm which was mildly irritating.
“But we went back on the July 30 and were turned away again as the pool was full to capacity, and health and safety rules dictate we could not go in.
“So, we decamped back to the paid parking area which I was forced to use, to travel 20 minutes to Hindley pool, only to be told it was an inflatable session which was £9.10 for two adults and two children, on top of my £40 membership.
“I was then further informed by the admittedly courteous and helpful staff at Hindley pool that we could go in for free at 3pm, as could all children during the summer holidays, so I am also paying a membership fee (for the children), whilst everyone else in the borough appears to get it for nothing.
“If this occurred within the private sector, the business would be bankrupt in no time, but it is not, so the inefficiency and mistreatment of paying customers will continue.”
A spokesperson for Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust insisted that Profiles membership still offered state-of-the art gyms at “competitive prices.”
He said: “They are exceptional value for money.
“During the summer months our facilities do experience an increase in visitor numbers and we would encourage people to check our website or phone in advance.
“Free swimming for under 16s is only available during school holidays and is a subsidized scheme to encourage young people to exercise.
“We are sorry Mr Green feels this way and will be contacting him regarding his membership.
“Our health and fitness centre membership is extremely high and that is a reflection of the quality and affordability we offer.”