Family upset over leisure changes

A dad has expressed his “complete dismay” at planned changes which means his family will struggle to use leisure facilities at Chatteris during peak times.

In a letter to Fenland District Council, the dad, writing on behalf of his family, said after a long wait for better leisure facilities in the town, he is upset that the family will not be able use the facilities at peak times, unless they buy monthly membership.

The resident, who has asked not to be named, said he was impressed with the new gym which opened last year and his wife is a regular user. One of his children also uses the gym but the other is of an age when she can only attend limited sessions, something else the dad feels strongly about.

“Our main complaint is that as a casual user, who pays when they attend, we will in the future be forbidden to use the facility at peak times. We have considered monthly membership but it would cost too much for my wife and daughter unless they attended more regular and we like the flexibility to attend when convenient due to all the things that happen in our busy family life,” he explained.

The couple have two sports mad children who play sports most days.

“We are exactly the sort of family that like and use leisure facilities,” his letter states. “If we are prohibited from using the facilities after 4.30pm we will no longer be able too because a monthly membership is not cost effective. You will then lose a whole family that would use the facility not just after Christmas but a family that hold keeping fit high on their priorities to leading a healthy lifestyle all year round,” his letter states.

In response, a Fenland Council spokesperson said: “The changes that are proposed to come into action in April are as a result of listening to our customers. During peak evening periods, regular users have told us that gym equipment can be very busy and sometimes staff can be occupied with other customers and unable to assist them. This change will ensure that our regular users receive an improved service.

“With regards to the change in access times, for clarity, the last admission will be 4.30pm, so a casual user may still be exercising till 5.30pm or even later.

“Fenland has a positive approach towards children using our gyms. There are specific supervised sessions several times a week for children aged 10 to 13. Once a child is 14, they can use a gym in a similar way to an adult.”