Operator warned over ‘unacceptable’ problems at Enfield leisure centres

Enfield Council has written to private contractor Fusion over a series of issues at local leisure centres it claims breaches their contract, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Edmonton Leisure Centre
Edmonton Leisure Centre

Enfield Council has warned a leisure provider over multiple breaches of its contract to run sports centres in the borough.

The council issued warning notices to Fusion last month over the closure of a sauna and steam room, a non-functioning lift and “unacceptable air temperatures” that led to swimming lessons being cancelled.

Letters sent from the council to Fusion on 10th February – seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service – warned the issues could lead to its contract to run the leisure centres being terminated. Fusion said most issues had now been resolved and there was an “agreed plan” to fix the remaining problems.

The council warned Fusion over “unacceptable air temperatures” within the pool halls and changing areas at Edmonton Leisure Centre and Southbury Leisure Centre following the failure of air handling units at the start of the year.

It said the problems had led to the cancellation of scheduled swimming lessons and the issuing of an improvement notice by the council’s health and safety team.

The local authority also sent warning notices over the steam room at Albany Leisure Centre and the sauna at Southbury Leisure Centre, both of which had been closed to the public since the start of the year.

A further warning came over the lift at Southbury Leisure Centre, which had also not been working since the beginning of 2023.

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The letters state that Fusion has “failed to uphold its maintenance and management responsibilioties”, warning that it will face financial penalties over the breaches and that if they continue the council could end the contract with the leisure provider.

Fusion has recently faced criticism in neighbouring Haringey over the ongoing closure of Tottenham Green Pools and Fitness, which was shut down at the beginning of the year because of flooding and an electrical fault, and the temporary closure of the swimming pools at Park Road Pools and Fitness in Crouch End.

In response to the recent issues with Enfield’s leisure centres, the provider said in a statement: “Fusion Lifestyle is a registered charity that is dedicated to the wellbeing of the community in Enfield. We take complaints about our centres very seriously and are working with the council to resolve these issues.

“Most issues have now been resolved and there is an agreed plan with the council in place to have the remaining problems fixed over the coming weeks.”

A council spokesperson said: “We have been made aware of defects in three of the borough’s leisure centres by our residents. Following our own inspections, Enfield Council informed Fusion Leisure and have asked them to swiftly resolve those issues. The current situation is not acceptable and we expect a higher standard of service and provision for Enfield residents.”

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