August 22 2014 Latest news:
Janine Rasiah, Senior Reporter
Sunday, May 18, 2014
East Ham leisure centre has been “crawling with cockroaches” for months, according to a lifeguard who has repeatedly tried to get management to take action.
He says the only way to blast the pests would be to close the centre and fumigate it in its entirety as the problem has spread to the poolside, wetside changing rooms, staff changing rooms, a staff storage cupboard and a spectator area.
The lifeguard, who did not want to be named for fear of losing his job, says even numerous complaints from members of the public have not encouraged senior staff to do something about the pests.
“On a daily basis I am walking around these cockroaches on the poolside while I’m on shift,” he said. “I keep going to management but no matter what I seem to say to them they just ignore me and dismiss me.”
He says he first noticed the problem six months ago.
“It is a health and safety hazard,” he added. “They multiply very quickly and there is a risk that you could bring one home. I am constantly checking my shoes and where I am stepping.
“I have got so frustrated that I haven’t got a clue where to turn to.”
The lifeguard also claimed the recent temporary closure of the health suite to carry out “essential maintenance work” was a cover-up for the fact that management had to re-furbish the area as “people were getting bitten”.
An activeNewham spokeswoman said a specialist company was brought in to resolve a pest control problem and they “continue to visit the centre weekly to ensure the problem does not return”.
“We take the cleanliness and hygiene of all the venues we manage very seriously,” she said. “We can assure residents that cleanliness within East Ham Leisure Centre, like all venues, is of a high standard and all facilities are safe to use.
“We are happy to talk to residents about any concerns they may have.”
The spokeswoman also said essential repairs resulted in the health suite being closed in February, adding: “the pest controllers took advantage of the closure to treat the area while they did the rest of the centre”.