Angry mums: pool is so cold it turned our kids blue

PUBLISHED: 11:31 26 January 2012

Mums protest about the low temperature of the learners' pool at Lord Butler Leisure Centre

Mums protest about the low temperature of the learners' pool at Lord Butler Leisure Centre

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MORE than 100 angry mums have joined a Facebook group petition to get a leisure centre to up the temperature of its learner pool - which they say is so cold it turned their children blue.

The group was set up by Catherine Patmore after she and a number of other mums grew tired of Lord Butler Fitness and Leisure Centre’s refusal to act on requests to make the pool warmer.

She said: “I took my three-year-old daughter to the pool and she was wearing a swimsuit and a wetsuit. But I had to take her straight out because the water was so cold she started shivering.

“It has put her off swimming. I have a younger daughter as well but I wouldn’t dream of taking her after my last experience.”

Mrs Patmore, of Landscape View, added that many other parents had been forced to take their children to pools in nearby Haverhill and Cambridge instead. But the mum-of-two said this wasn’t an option for everybody. “A lot of mums cannot drive so it’s difficult to go elsewhere – and why should we when we have a perfectly good pool on our doorstep.”

Nicky Agar, of Goddard Way, said her five-year-old son was so cold during a swimming lesson that his lips turned blue. “If we go swimming for ‘fun’ we now do so at Haverhill,” she said.

And Karen Harding added: “My husband and I took our children about three months ago. We had to get out in a record five minutes after all four kids and I turned blue and couldn’t stop shivering. It ruined a potentially great family day out as we were all so disappointed that we didn’t enjoy ourselves.

“Our three little ones were in tears and it took almost an hour for them to stop shaking. We will not be returning until something is done.”

A spokesman for the leisure centre said: “The temperature of the learner pool is within industry standards and industry recommendations. The temperature parameters of the pool are between 29-31.5°C – which is set in partnership with Uttlesford District Council.

“The learner pool is for people of all ages – young and old – to learn to swim so it’s important that it’s not too warm.

“We would welcome a face to face discussion with the representatives from the group of local mothers.”

Parkside Pool in Cambridge said the temperature of its baby and learner pool was between 31.5 and 32°C, while Abbeycroft leisure centre in Haverhill is kept at 30°C and Abbey Pools in Cambridge between 31°C and 33°C.

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