Parent felt ‘dirty and unsafe’ after visiting Eastbourne pool

A father has raised concerns about a swimming pool in Eastbourne - which he has called ‘over-priced’ and ‘grubby’.

John Wayne Saggers, who lives in Peacehaven, said he visited Sovereign Centre’s swimming pool on Sunday, June 19, with his daughter and son.

In a letter to the centre Mr Saggers said, “After my experience of visiting your swimming pool I felt dirty and unsafe.”

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Mr Saggers said one of his concerns was about the general hygiene of the area.

John and Louie Saggers

He said, “It absolutely reeks and no one is going around with disinfectant.

“It’s so grubby you would need to clean for hours because they let it go so far.”

The father said the changing rooms smelt of ‘sweat and urine’ while calling the area ‘vile’.

He added, “There are nappies in there, general grime which has been there more than a day. The place smells, the whole area.”

Sovereign Centre in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)

Mr Saggers said his daughter also spotted hairs in the pool.

He said, “We are coming out of covid for crying out loud, it’s minging in there.”

The father said another concern was that lifeguards would often leave their post to tell people they are not wearing the correct clothing.

He said, “Every time they are doing it they are not manning their post."

Mr Saggers took this picture in the changing rooms

Mr Saggers, who said he paid £22 for the one-and-a-half hour session, added that people at the pool ‘cannot do anything’.

He said, “I have been going for 20 years, I have never seen it as bad.

“It’s over-priced, dirty and not fun.”

A Sovereign Centre spokesperson said, “We are sorry to hear about Mr Saggers’ experience here and have been in touch this week to address his concerns.

"Sunday was a particularly busy day at the pool and we have apologised that the changing rooms didn’t meet expectations on this occasion.

“The centre does have a robust cleaning regime in place with a high level clean three-times a day, regular checks during each 90-minute session and a deep clean each night of all cubicles. However on Sunday afternoon a particularly high turnover of visitors in between sessions meant the cleaning team could not get access to the cubicles quickly enough to maintain them in between those departing and those arriving.

"Recent customer feedback has shown a significant improvement in cleanliness overall but we accept that during this session we did not meet our preferred standards, and as such we are working with our staff at how to address this issue during busy sessions.

“Around the pool our lifeguard team maintain the highest standards and for safety reasons we do not allow t-shirts in the pool, unless made for swimming, as they can become loose and heavy in the water, impeding swimming ability and obstructing rescue situations.

"This is standard policy for most pools and is published on our website, in our booking terms and conditions, as well as at reception and in our changing rooms.

“As a safety matter, early intervention is best and it is therefore the duty of poolside staff to educate and ensure swimmers enter the water with appropriate swimwear.

"Our lifeguard team are always alert, and while one lifeguard talks to a customer, the other lifeguards on duty will always continue to monitor swimmers and raise an alarm if needed.”