Locals call for end to leisure centre contract

Haringey Civic Centre

By Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Hundreds of people are calling for a leisure centre contract to be ended after people were accidentally exposed to chlorine gas.

Four people were taken to hospital after the incident at Tottenham Green Leisure Centre, in Philip Lane, Friday, 22nd November.

Haringey Council has confirmed this was because of an accidental release of chlorine vapour and says it will carry out an investigation.

More than 600 people have signed a petition calling on the council to end its contract with Fusion Lifestyle, which runs the centre.

Cllr Tammy Palmer, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Tottenham, has lent her support to the petition.

She said she has been working with residents to address concerns about Fusion’s performance since she was elected as a Haringey councillor.

She said: “We do not yet have the full details of what happened on [that] Friday. However, this is just the latest evidence that something has gone very wrong with the Fusion contract.

“Last July, I asked the cabinet member responsible for leisure services about complaints of poor customer service, dirty and broken equipment and facilities, inefficient communication and an apparent lack of interest in feedback.

“Despite the assurances I was given, a year later we’re having even more serious problems. It is time for the council to get this situation fixed.”

Cllr Palmer has formally requested a meeting for the petitioners to present their signatures to the cabinet member for corporate and civic services.

A Haringey Council spokesperson said: “Fusion have established that a blockage of chlorine in the system resulted in a dose of chlorine entering the pool which caused the vapour to occur.

“Fusion are conducting a full investigation into the incident and are updating their maintenance procedures.

“Haringey Council will be carrying out their own investigation that is supported by independent water monitoring experts.”

A spokesperson for Fusion said: “Fusion senior operational management team have met with the cabinet member and senior Haringey Council officers to ensure that we address all feedback and continuously improve our standards and performance at Tottenham Green Leisure Centre.

“Fusion have also offered a meeting with Cllr Palmer to discuss her comments and await a confirmed meeting date.”

The spokesperson said the swimming pool and the rest of the centre were “evacuated immediately” after the vapour was released.

They added: “The emergency services were called instantly to support the situation. The safety of our users is paramount, and the fire brigade allowed the building to open shortly after their arrival.

“We would like to thank our customers and staff for their patience and understanding of what was an unfortunate situation. A full investigation is underway to avoid situations like this in the future.”

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called at 9:36am on 22nd November to reports of an incident at Tottenham Green Leisure Centre in N15.

“We dispatched a number of resources to the scene, including an incident response officer, ambulance crews and our hazardous area response team.

“Crews treated four people at the scene – two men and two women. All four were taken to hospital.”

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