Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Olympia queuing concerns

As reported in today's Courier, I have received feedback from the city’s Director of Leisure & Communities following constituent complaints about the length of queues facing customers using the new Olympia facility.   

The following comment from a constituent is typical:

‘The new Olympia is generally agreed to be lovely but, there seems to be a serious shortage of staff. At busy times there has been huge queues to enter the pool and there is little evidence of staff poolside. I heard this from 2 different sources so I don’t think it’s wrong, also one person said the people in the queue behind them said they had come several times in the school hols and it had always been a long wait to get in. What’s the point in building a magnificent new facility if it’s not staffed adequately?’

I raised the matter with the Director of Leisure & Communities who advised:

‘The building has been operating at capacity more or less from the off. We have had 63 000 customers in just over the first four weeks.

Given thus level of demand some queuing is enviable and we have been very impressed by the goodwill and patience shown. 

There really is no truth in the suggestion that the facility is under staffed. We have actually had extra staff on every day to ease the pressure from the agreed supervisory staffing levels . I wonder if the fact that the lifeguards in the new pool operate much more from fixed stations which are equipped with screens and underwater cameras is widely known.

I will share your constituents’ comments with the team but have no doubt that any delay is mainly down to volumes of visitors as opposed to delays caused by staffing levels.’

The large volumes of customers undoubtedly highlights the popularity of the new Olympia and that is to be greatly welcomed although a close eye does have to be kept to keep any queuing to a minimum, to ensure all customers get an enjoyable experience using the new facility.   

I do think it has to be appreciated that the facility is new and this will have boosted visitor numbers – just as the school holidays will have done – but I think we all want to see customers really enjoy their experience at the new Olympia, with queuing kept to a minimum.

I was interviewed yesterday by both Radio Tay News and Wave 102 News about the issue and you can hear the Wave 102 interview by clicking 'play' below: