Saturday, June 13, 2009

Oh Lordy, its the Council again

I go swimming most Sunday mornings at a Leeds City Council Pool. I naively thought that a) they’d want people to actually use the pool and b) they were providing some kind of service (paid for by my Council Tax and income tax). However, they’ve come up with the perfect wheeze to keep people away, cause them maximum inconvenience, generally annoy them and presumably prepare the case for closing pools down. What they do on a Sunday is this – they open up in the morning for an hour and a half. Then they kick everyone out and close the place for half an hour. Then they open again for an hour and a half and then close again for half an hour kicking everyone out - and so on throughout the day!

So, realistically you can only get in to swim during a small number of periods of about ½ an hour (maybe 45 minutes) during the day. If you get this timing wrong the pool will either be closed or about to close before you’ve had chance to actually swim. Presumably staff are paid when there’s no-one in the pool to pay their wages – and everyone gets to the showers and changing rooms at the same time.

The only hint as to what twisted logic they’ve used to come up with this system was a comment by the receptionist about swimming being made free for children – I think it may be do with ‘managing demand’ (of which in real life there is precious little) by making sure people don’t turn up and swim for hours (like they do, obviously).

Basically the only people who can go are the organized compliant types who don’t mind being pushed around by Leeds City Council for its own convenience and who can get themselves and the kids up and out on a Sunday morning without any time slipping by in any nonsense ‘let’s try and relax its Sunday morning’ kind of way. The toilets still stink by the way.

Can you imagine Tescos pulling this sort of stunt? Presumably they could do with some catch-up time and shelf stocking time if they got busy, but would they just close the shop for random half hours during the day? Actually no, I guess not. Mind you they probably don’t close their cafes at 3.30 on a Sunday afternoon when everyone wants a cup of tea either – that’s the Council again. To be fair, it’s a bit later in the summer – ‘bout 9 o’clock any good for you? Nah, 4 I think. Everyone’s back home 7 hours before it gets dark in June obviously.

It has occurred to me that I could and should write letters and phone councilors and whatnot. Unfortunately I have stuff to do so won’t get round to it. I shall just continue to harbour hate and contempt for the Council and Firstbus and the rest of them.

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