The Arc Leisure Centre is a magnificent achievement for the Derbyshire Dales District Council and deserves all the plaudits and euphoria it gets.
That said it leaves a lot to be desired in its response to its users. I don’t have the long experience of Les Davis in recalling five and three metre diving boards at the outdoor lido, I do share with Brian Howitt the loss of Sherwood Hall in 2007 “without prior consultation of its users”.
I recall also a rap on the knuckles from the authority from the Ombudsman for this.
But I echo even more the letter of K A Miller, and find it so refreshing to get that endangered element “common sense” re-introduced to DDDC.
My experience recalls that diving was allowed at the lido until a recent repair to the tiling and on re-opening the diving ban appeared, without of course any consultation.
By lack of consultation the authority missed several tricks principally as K A Miller points out, the element that makes swimming so desirable for youngsters, that of fun.
Centre Parcs have made a business out of building centres around water features that have flumes, slides, waves etc. and have families paying good money for holidays there.
For the Arc at least let people dive in the deep end and enjoy the inhibited mind-set pleasures of the DDDC.
For myself, I would want a thorough going review of the Arc outlook, and think it is well placed to take a socially adventurous line.
Why not have free swimming lessons for non-swimmers? To enable folk to swim gives confidence and entry to all water sports.
Why not extend the Gold Card Scheme for pensioners to cover membership.
At present on doctors recommendation membership is allowed, but with obesity such an impending problem, why not extend this?
A fine centre gives opportunities for a radical outlook, why not “cast the nets the other side” and be noted for innovation?
One sour note needs to be sounded. The price leaflet is misleading, for all the stated prices you need to follow the asterisks down to the small print to find out what you need to pay.
Then if you want to take up membership using a credit card you will be asked for a further two per cent.
Whoever worked out such prices must have St. Ryanair as their patron Saint.
All the above said, and there is much more unsaid, it is necessary to repeat the Arc is a magnificent achievement for the DDDC, and congratulations are in order.