TLC’s ‘poor management’ at root of problems

editorial image

Over the past few weeks I have read articles in the Hawick News regarding Teviotdale Leisure Centre, which have left me both saddened and disappointed. First of all, the story on the front on September 20 which highlighted the £70,000 loss in July and August, and then last week’s Soap Box article by Councillor Stuart Marshall, who reminded us all about the closure threat faced by TLC not that long ago.

I was one of the 800 or so people who attended that meeting and can still remember the emotion felt in the room that night. There were indeed lots of points raised and Councillor Marshall is quite rightly now asking if any of the suggestions aired that night have ever been followed through. It got me thinking, who has been monitoring BSLT and the management at TLC, and who are they accountable to? Why on earth are we back in the position where gloomy headlines surround this facility?

I hate to say it, but in my humble opinion and due to experiences I have had at TLC, I feel that it comes down to poor management.

As a family, we are regular users of TLC. My daughter is a member of the local swimming club who have a constant battle with the BSLT with regards to various issues, and none more so than lane space for young swimmers.

The current proposals being forced on the committee (early morning sessions between 6-8am) are ludicrous considering the majority of swimming club members are 12 years old and under. This is just one example of how out of touch BSLT have become with their customers.

I must also state that the swimming club issues have highlighted to me how badly things are run at the centre, but other instances have included being let down with a birthday party I had booked for my daughter, and numerous complaints about the café facilities.

I simply feel that BSLT and TLC have forgotten the basic rule in any service industry, and that is you have to give the customer what they want.

Since the damning Kit Campbell report in 2010 have BSLT even questioned their customers as to what facilities or services they would like to see and use at the centre? I ask the question because from my personal experience they seem more determined to give customer dissatisfaction than they do customer satisfaction.

This team cannot even manage to organise a pool timetable to accommodate all public needs, and therefore questions have to be asked about their ability to manage this facility effectively and to its full potential.

Now that the losses have been highlighted, can our councillors step in and keep a closer eye on the management and the general running of the facility or are we going to have to wait for the next report in which we may not get the same outcome as we did last time?

We are all aware of the current economic climate and I personally feel that BSLT is just waiting on the figures to justify the closure of at least our swimming pool if not the whole of Teviotdale Leisure Centre.