Sussex

Worthing Scope 'disappointed' with new swimming pool

A group in Worthing is concerned the town's new swimming pool will not be able to cater properly for people with severe disabilities.

Worthing Scope said it was unhappy specific changing facilities for severely disabled people were not in the plans for in the new building.

A spokesman for Worthing Borough Council said a budget cut of £4m had impacted on the building of the pool.

The council is looking into using a first aid room as a changing area.

Duncan Anderson, Worthing Leisure Centres manager, said: "We had £22m to build a new facility which was cut to £18m, so we had to take things out.

Access for everybody

"The pool is Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant so people with disabilities can use the facility.

"I fully understand that without a changing places facility it does compromise the ability of severely disabled people to use the facility."

Mr Anderson said that as a compromise the centre was looking at using a first aid room located next to the pool and showers as a special changing room for severely disabled people.

Pauline Fox, chief executive of Worthing Scope said: "I think the main disappointment was that the changing places facility was never there in the first place.

"Although we talk about compliancy, compliancy and reasonable adjustments really aren't sufficient in something that we were hoping was going to be an achievement for the town - something everybody could access.

"And by everybody I do mean, yes, more disabled people in the community and there are lots of them.

"I'm really hopeful that the council are going to be able to turn this around but even so the disappointment is still there."

Mr Anderson said: "We are hopefully going to move forward now and work with the Worthing Access and Mobility Group to try and make things as best as possible with what we've got.

"When this pool is built I think Worthing should be really proud of it and they'll make good use of it."

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