Bedford’s Oasis Swimming Pool has been branded “disgusting” after its outside has been allowed to deteriorate through what appears to be years of neglect.
With rubbish strewn everywhere, bins upturned, tiles and windows broken, weeds growing in cracks and prison style security measures, the pool doesn’t look like a place for family friendly fun and relaxation.
“I walk past it every day and it looks disgusting,” said Emma Harrison who lives nearby, “I don’t know why it’s been allowed to get to this state over the past few years, it’s horrible.”
While the interior of the swimming pool was ‘upgraded’ this time last year, the outside has been left to rot for as long as many people can remember.
One Bedfordian we spoke to, who didn’t give their name, said they can’t remember the pool ever looking “inviting” in the 20 years they’d lived in the town.
“It’s a complete eyesore. What looks like it should be a water feature has been dry for years and full of rubbish. There’s even a tree growing in one bit.
“It’s more like the setting for a post-apocalyptic film than a place to take my family.”
While local people have expressed disgust, one councillor is now warning Fusion, the pool’s operators,their time for managing the town’s leisure facilitates may be up.
“The complaints about Oasis Pool don’t come as a surprise. Time and again Fusion has missed the Borough’s key performance indicators,” said Conservative Group Deputy Leader, Cllr. Roger Rigby.
Fusion were given control of six local leisure facilities in Bedford Borough and two outdoor activity centres owned by the taxpayer just over six years ago.
The aim was to reduce operating costs, improve standards and increase service offerings to users.
On their website, Fusion claims to “continually reinvest to improve and develop what’s on offer in your community.”
We asked Fusion what plans they had to bring the swimming pool up to an acceptable standard but they did not respond.
Bedford Borough Council also refused to give their views on the state of the pool and if Fusion should be making improvements and repairs.
They also ignored our question asking if Bedfordians could be proud of the pool in its current state.
Instead, a spokesperson told us that some maintenance work to the “external aspects of the venue” will take place.
They said this would include “weed removal, rubbish collection, repairs to tiles and windows.”
They also added that damage caused by anti-social behaviour while the pool has been closed during the coronavirus lockdown hasn’t helped.
But Cllr Rigby believes the time has come for Fusion to improve or have its contract terminated.
“If matters don’t improve, the Council may decide to terminate Fusion’s contract or indeed Fusion may choose to withdraw from it,” he said.
“Matters need to improve quickly, as time is running out for both the Borough Council and for Fusion.”