War on gruesome acts in Sunderland changing rooms

Sunderland Aquatic Centre.
Sunderland Aquatic Centre.
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SMASHED glass bottles and dirty nappies are among the grim finds in Wearside’s gym changing rooms.

Council bosses say they are facing a daily battle to keep their facilities clear of waste dumped by visitors.

Tenth anniversary of the opening of the Raich Carter Centre.

Tenth anniversary of the opening of the Raich Carter Centre.

Sunderland City Council, which runs a dozen sports centres across the area, has now issued a plea to those who use its pools, halls and gymnasiums to put a stop to their disgusting deeds.

They say despite the availability of bins or people taking items home to dispose of, rubbish is being dumped.

In recent months it has included half-eaten sandwiches, broken glass bottles, ripped and dirty clothes, soiled nappies, used shampoo and shower gel bottles, chewing gum and sweet wrappers.

Visitors have also urinated in changing rooms.

Users to the Aquatic and Wellness Centre in Monkwearmouth have been among those to raise concerns about the problems caused by the changing room rogues.

There have been concerns raised about Raich Carter Centre, in Hendon.

Councillor John Kelly, the council’s cabinet member for public health, wellness and culture, said: “We have a strict cleaning regime at the Aquatic Centre and leisure attendants also carry out regular spot checks to keep the changing areas as clean and tidy as possible.

“As a result of this antisocial and inconsiderate behaviour by a small minority, items are sometimes being left lying in the changing areas which those responsible for could quite easily have safely disposed of or taken home.

“We would urge everyone who uses our leisure and sporting facilities to dispose of their rubbish responsibly, rather than spoiling things for the vast majority of our customers.”

He added: “All our changing rooms are cleaned on a regular basis, but we would urge all our customers to remember their personal responsibilities and treat them with respect.

“Levels of hygiene and cleanliness at all our changing rooms are kept to the highest possible standards.

“We can only maintain these levels with the help of our customers in picking up after themselves, and reporting any problems that they may see.”

Coun Kelly said resources put into changing the mess left behind in the changing rooms could be better spent elsewhere, although staff are trained and equipped to deal with the clean up of waste.

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