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Stour Centre in Ashford responds to cleanliness criticism

By Charlie Harman

The Stour Centre has responded to claims its changing rooms are covered with “black mould and slimy clumps of hair”.

A concerned visitor complained about the Ashford facility’s standards of cleanliness during the recent heatwave.

The site celebrated its 10th anniversary last year following a multimillion-pound transformation in 2007.

The Stour Centre has assured visitors that proper hygiene standards are met
The Stour Centre has assured visitors that proper hygiene standards are met

But disappointed visitor John Carlin said: “It was clear that the floors and showers had not been cleaned for a very long time.

“There was black mould all over the shower cubicles walls. It actually smelled quite pungent.

“The floors were covered in what looked like slimy clumps of hair.

The little benches in the changing cubicles looked like they hadn’t been wiped for days, and the pervading smell in the place would have made you ill. It was quite disgusting.”

'I would hope that something can be done to improve conditions at the Stour...' - John Carlin

Ashford’s leisure centre saw a rush of visitors during the heatwave, which Mr Carlin took note of in his complaint.

He said: “I do understand this is a busy time, but surely it would not take long for even one person to whiz round with cleaning products and cloths and give it a once over every hour? The Stour is not a cheap place to go swimming.

“Regardless, hygiene is paramount, and I would hope that something can be done to improve conditions at the Stour, and soon.”

Rachel Foad, programme manager at The Stour Centre, wished to assure visitors that cleanliness protocols are observed.

She said: “The changing rooms are regularly checked throughout the day by our staff with the duty manager completing full facility inspections at set periods during operating hours.

“The showers and changing rooms are cleaned in the evenings by our contract cleaners. The staff also clean and litter pick the changing areas during the day time and this is recorded on the rotas.

“As soon as we have a complaint, we would ask the customer to show us the area and we deal with any issue that should arise immediately.

“Regarding the complaint in question, we received no complaints regarding the cleanliness of the facility during his visit.”

“We have a structured cleaning and task management programme in place, which is completed by contract cleaners and our staff.

“During the school holidays we have a day time cleaner based in the changing room.”

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