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Customer criticises East Ham Leisure Centre over 'lack of cleanliness' and 'rotting' stench

PUBLISHED: 10:18 03 October 2018

Ray Periera with his letter of complaint to the management of the East Ham Leisure Centre.

Ray Periera with his letter of complaint to the management of the East Ham Leisure Centre.

Archant

A Forest Gate paramedic says he was appalled by filthy conditions at a Newham leisure centre.

East Ham Leisure Centre. Picture: Isabel InfantesEast Ham Leisure Centre. Picture: Isabel Infantes

Ray Pereira vowed never to return to East Ham Leisure Centre after firing off a scathing letter of complaint to the site’s managers on Friday.

In it, the 49-year-old details a “lack of cleanliness and hygiene” found at the centre in Barking Road’s health suite and men’s changing rooms during a visit the day before.

He told the Recorder he was bowled over by a “rotting”, “unpleasant” smell after arriving at about 3.30pm.

“I was the second male to enter health suite changing room and the first thing that hit me was the stench,” he said.

Hair in the shower drain with mould-lined skirting board. Picture: Ray PereiraHair in the shower drain with mould-lined skirting board. Picture: Ray Pereira

“It stunk.”

The odour, he added, would enough to make a visitor “feel like you were going to be sick”.

Disgusted by hairs covering the shower drains, “dirt and mould” lining their skirting boards and rubbish on the changing room floor, he took photos to document what he discovered.

“You could see that these facilities have not been cleaned for some time and we are talking weeks and months in some areas,” he wrote to staff at activeNewham, who run the facility.

Litter under men's changing room bench. Picture: Ray PereiraLitter under men's changing room bench. Picture: Ray Pereira

According to Ray, the duty manager told him she had cleaned the health suite earlier that day.

As an NHS worker, Ray — of Woodgrange Road, Forest Gate — pays a monthly subscription as a corporate member, granting him use of the company’s facilities and the health suite for free outside peak hours.

He has used a nearby activeNewham site, Atherton Leisure Centre in Romford Road, regularly for years without hassle but said he wanted to voice his concerns given his background in the health service.

“I try not to involve myself in too much of the politics [of the venue],” he said.

“As a customer I followed procedure and I expect a result.”

A spokeswoman for activeNewham said: “Please be assured that activeNewham is taking this matter seriously and is looking into this complaint.”

In 2013 East Ham Leisure Centre closed over the Christmas period for a major refurbishment.

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