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'distressing' Council apologises after four-month-old baby's leg turns blue in cold swimming pool

It was claimed the family of the baby had been told the temperature of the pool had been lowered in order to save money

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South Lake Leisure Centre where the incident happened

South Lake Leisure Centre where the incident happened

South Lake Leisure Centre where the incident happened

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council officials have apologised to a family after the temperature of the water in a swimming pool at the South Lake Leisure Centre resulted in a four-month old baby’s leg turning blue.

The issue was raised at the council’s monthly meeting on Monday, April 25, by Councillor Margaret Tinsley who claimed the family of the child had been told by a staff member at the leisure centre that the decision to lower the temperate was one taken by the council in order to save money.

Cllr Tinsley queried this claim and asked when the decision was taken as it was not one she was aware of.

“This has been brought to my attention just before this meeting, it is a very distressing point about a constituent who had a four-month-old baby in the baby pool at the South Lake Leisure Centre at the weekend,” said Cllr Tinsley.

“According to the information I have been given, the temperature of the pool has been reduced dramatically and the child’s leg was blue. I was told they had to take the child to the shower to get it warmed up.

“I am raising it tonight because management actually informed the family it was a decision made by Council to reduce the water temperature in the pool.

“I very much doubt, because I certainly would not miss it, that I was privy to that decision being made. I am asking for that to be reviewed. I would like to know what the temperature was, when the decision to reduce it was made and what it has been reduced to.”

Councillor Ciaran Toman revealed that he had been contacted by the family and had spoken to SLLC’s manager Paul Coleman about the issue.

“I had been contacted by the same individual and have spoken to Paul earlier this afternoon, the issue has been resolved and Paul has been in contact with the individual and a goodwill gesture has been provided,” said Cllr Toman.

“Can that be shared with all councillors to provide reassurance that this will not happen again?” he added.

Addressing the situation, the council’s head of estates and asset management, Jonathan Hayes said the local authority had apologised to the family and blamed the issue, which has now been fixed, on the pool’s heating system

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“Firstly, we apologise to the gentleman and his family in relation to this,” said Mr Hayes.

“We can confirm the heating system in relation to the pool had tripped on Saturday and that the temperature had dropped by 1.5 degrees.

“The pool typically runs at 29.7 degrees and it had dropped to 28.2 degrees. The problem has now been fixed and the temperature of the water was brought back up to operating temperature by this morning (Monday, April 25).

“The centre manager, Paul Coleman, has also been in contact with the gentleman in question.”

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