A MOTHER found a grotty surprise in the Chilterns Lifestyle Centre's toddler play area.

Her concern comes amid another complaint about the leisure centre’s cleanliness – opened only in last December after a delay.

In addition to the 25-meter swimming pool, gym, climbing wall and a spa, the new leisure complex offers a children’s play area with climbing for older children and a soft play area for toddlers.

The Lifestyle Centre customer, who wants to remain anonymous, popped in to test the new play area of the centre for the first time on March 23, but found the toddler play area dusty under the slide.  

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She said: “Was fairly appalled to see the amount of dust, wondered if any of the area is cleaned.”

Bucks Free Press: Rolls of dust on the floor of the toddler play area. Rolls of dust on the floor of the toddler play area.

From the outset, her first visit with her nine-month-old baby and a three-year-old didn’t go swimmingly.  

She chose to go for the soft play area last minute, as the children’s swimming slots were full.

Like many parents with young children, she didn’t pre-book the swim in case either of her children were poorly, and they would have to cancel.

In her quest to get in the play area with the youngsters, she had to queue for 15 minutes to pay at the till, as she hadn’t pre-booked using the app.  

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“The soft play area was instead of swimming, we needed to do something with three-year-old, who was upset we couldn’t swim,” she explained.

She added: “It was a warm day, the soft play area has one side of the wall as glass, it was baking in there but no one knew how to turn on the air conditioning.

“Will be unbearable in the summer!

Because of the lack of staff around, she decided to report it using a website feedback form “but to date, three weeks later, have not had any response”.

The £36 million Buckinghamshire Council-built Chilterns Lifestyle Centre is operated by Everyone Active, a sports and leisure management company.

Steve Salwa, contract manager at Everyone Active, said: “We apologise to our members and customers if expectations have not been met in regard to the cleanliness of parts of the Soft Play Area.

"As a brand-new centre opening in the midst of the pandemic it has posed some challenges, namely towards staffing with colleagues off unwell from Covid, and increased difficulty with recruiting - an industry wide issue.

The operator is recruiting for a number of roles, which they hope to fill soon, he said.

“We would advise all customers to pre-book via the App to ensure they can access the facilities in a timely manner.

"Our booking system has been created so as to reduce the chance of our members and customers having to wait to enjoy their favoured activities.

"We want to reassure members and customers that we take pride in our centre and will continue to work towards improvements, so everyone feels welcome and enjoys visiting.”

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