David Prince said he was left questioning the ‘public’ in public swimming pool when he visited Holly Hill Leisure Centre in Sarisbury Green to take his young daughter for a swim after school.
David said: ‘I tried to use the pool at 4.30pm with my daughter, but was told the entire pool was not for public use that day as it was being used for private swimming lessons and would only be available to the public at 6pm. That is the rule for Monday to Wednesday which I’m amazed at – with it being a public pool paid for by public money.
‘I have been going to that swimming pool since it opened and this has happened loads of times.’
The 25-metre, six-lane swimming pool is one of the facilities at Holly Hill Leisure centre, which was opened in October.
Fareham Borough Council funded the multi-million-pound project, which also includes a learner pool, gym and dance studio and Everyone Active operates the gym on behalf of the council.
Council leader Cllr Sean Woodward said: ‘It is being used by the public. Hundreds of children are having swimming lessons. It is normal in every respect to use the pool to teach children to swim and what a brilliant place to learn. We have hundreds of people delighted to use the leisure centre.’
Nigel Ashton, Everyone Active’s general manager, said: ‘Holly Hill Leisure Centre has brought much-needed swimming provision to the western part of the borough. Our pool timetable is designed to allow for a high proportion of public-swim time alongside swimming lessons and club sessions.
‘We listen to the feedback of our customers and, since the centre opened, have increased the provision of public-swim time to meet demand.
‘The swimming pool at Holly Hill Leisure Centre is here to be enjoyed by the entire community. We are dedicated to maximising the opportunities for everyone to use the pool and to learn a life-saving skill.
‘This means there are periods when space is shared between the public, classes, clubs or lessons, as well as dedicated times for each.’