An image of the frontage of Tottenham Green Pools and Fitness

Fusion failures continue with latest pool fiasco at Tottenham Green

Tottenham Green Leisure Centre’s main pool remains closed due to an apparent lifeguard shortage, leaving the area short on pool space.

The main pool had been undergoing repairs from early 2023 until it reopened on February 14 this year, but only survived 7 days before closing again due to boiler issues.

After these issues were resolved, the pool somehow still remained closed with operator Fusion Lifestyle citing a shortage of lifeguards.

Tottenham residents were frustrated by this news, with retiree Lena Elliott, 69, saying: “I can’t go and it’s very upsetting as I need that exercise.

“Children are also missing out.”

Elliott, who had used Tottenham Green every week for two years before the closure, said: “Fusion just wants money.

“[Tottenham Green] is in a horrible condition”

While the teaching pool has now reopened after being closed throughout 2023, there no doubt was a negative impact on children’s health due to the lack of available facilities.

Fusion has a history of running sports and leisure facilities across Haringey, but have previously come under fire for poor maintenance, inexperienced staff, and lack of care for users.

James Ballard, 41, is a civil engineer involved with refurbishing former Fusion leisure centre.

Ballard said: “The few percent in operating costs that London councils have saved using Fusion has resulted in the degradation of the physical assets to the community that recreation facilities represent.

“Ask yourself, is the lowest bidder going to hire trained staff and spend money on adequate maintenance?”

Fusion has run Tottenham Green since 2012 and its contract was due to run until 2032 but was cut short by Haringey Council just last year, with services set to return to council control at Tottenham Green, Park Road, and Broadwater Farm by October 2 2024.

Issues first arose after a chlorine gas leak at Tottenham Green in 2019 led to 4 people being taken to hospital; in 2022, a campaign by community group ACORN led to Haringey Council subsidising adult single swim prices from £8 to £5.75 after an outcry of out-of-touch pricing.

The nail in the coffin for Fusion was the closure of all pools at Tottenham Green in January 2023 due to flooding of the centre’s electrical systems with sewage.

In regards to the re-closure of the main pool this February, Haringey Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Communities and Leisure, Cllr Emily Arkell, said: “This latest setback is unfair on our residents who want access to the main pool.

“We want everyone in our borough to have the best leisure provision and that’s why we made the decision to bring the three Fusion-run centres back in-house last year.”

This isn’t the first time the council have had to take back control of a Fusion contract.

In 2021, New River Sports Centre returned to council control and has since seen an increase in membership numbers and provision of more inclusive services according to Haringey Council.

Both Ballard and Elliott agreed they believe services at Tottenham Green will be better once the council takes over as the services will be run for the people and not for profit. 

It is still unknown when the main pool will reopen.

Fusion has been approached for comment.

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