Department must shape up

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 June, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 June, 1995, 12:00am

FOR the four years I have used the Morrison Hill public pool I have endured stoically the month-long hiatus of operations every June. Why the Recreation and Culture Department chooses to close it in summer - when the pool is most desired and needed - I cannot tell. Not everyone wants to swim at the beach.

Now this year takes the prize in the department's mismanagement. The pool has been closed since the end of May and will not re-open till July 1. Why don't they close it in the winter when fewer people go swimming? And why for two months? It is outrageous.

Obviously, the closing is for the staff's benefit and not for the patrons, because when it re-opens there are no visible improvements; and these it certainly needs.

I have never seen the staff do more than hose down the locker room. Hair drips like moss from the ladies' shower stalls and it clogs up the footpath that you must traverse to enter the swimming pool. The lavatories frequently reek. The shower stalls are missing tiles and are never replaced. Good scrubbing is what's required with hands and knees and abrasives.

The turnstile fee has risen much faster than the rate of inflation, but I suppose the department feels it can exploit the public when the fee is already low. But, in fact, it is not delivering value for money.

People who use public pools are usually those who cannot afford to live in buildings with pools - in other words, people the department thinks will not complain about its incompetence. Very cynical. The time for the administration of public pools to shape up is long overdue.