Dundee residents will rightly expect bungling Olympia bosses to come clean about why the crisis-hit leisure centre has been forced to close its main pool again, less than two months after it reopened.
Leisure and Culture Dundee have chosen to remain tight lipped over the latest fiasco, blaming a “technical” problem.
But The Courier revealed how the leisure and toddler pools closed after a metal rod fell and nearly hit unsuspecting swimmers.
While in isolation the latest problem could be understandable, it looks too much like it could be a case of history repeating itself.
In 2013, weeks after the £33 million facility opened its doors, issues which would eventually lead to the two-year closure were identified but never acted on.
The closure led to “catastrophic” losses for Leisure and Culture Dundee, and tax payers were stung with a £6 million repair bill to fix the litany of problems, including corroding metal work, and the revelation the competition pool was built too short.
Other problems identified in the early days of the facility were blamed on poor maintenance.
Astonishingly it seems lessons have not been learned and history has indeed been allowed to repeat itself, with errors identified in the “dosing” of pool chemicals since swimmers arrived back in December highlighting obvious issues in day-to-day management.
Understandable anger from furious city swimmers
It is understandable then why furious city swimmers and local politicians are demanding an independent inquiry to get to the bottom of the farce.
Their anger has been echoed by users, with one going so far as to say it’s just one part of Dundee becoming a “progressively worse place to live”.
“Money seems to disappear into the Black Hole of Calcutta. Sheer incompetence,” the reader wrote.
Such a probe – normally led by a judge – is likely to be lengthy and expensive, and may not be the solution needed to ensure Dundee tax payers are told exactly what went wrong and crucially, who is responsible.
But neither is continued silence and evasion good enough. Dundee City councillors have a duty to ensure the flagship leisure centre is fit for purpose and explain why it has turned into little more than a white elephant.
Leisure and Culture Dundee must also embrace transparency. If and when the Olympia reopens, they must remember that their customers are the people of Dundee.
That requires real honesty, and an end to evasive statements about “technical problems”, when things go wrong.
That matters not just because transparency is important, but because the issues exposed also present very serious safety concerns for those who want to use the pools.
For the public to have confidence in their ability to manage and deliver the city’s leisure facilities, L&C Dundee will have no choice but to be clear about exactly what action has been taken to ensure swimmer safety.