The state of a pop-up swimming pool in Reading has been slammed, with claims there is “blood on a wall and hair on the drains”.

A campaigner asked the council’s lead member for Health, Wellbeing and Sport what the council would do about the state of the temporary-up 25m Rivermead pool at a Full Council meeting on Monday.

The Rivermead demountable pool opened in January 2018 ahead of the closure of Central Pool later that month, as a temporary facility until new pools are built.

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Roger Lightfoot, a regular critic of the council’s record on swimming pools, asked what the council is doing to improve the unsatisfactory cleaning of the facilities at the pop up pool.

He said the showers frequently have accumulated hair on the drains, the toilets smell, a tile is missing and “what appears to be blood” is on a wall near the clock and has been there for several months.

Councillor Graeme Hoskin, lead member for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, responded: “As a parent who takes his youngest daughter to regular swimming lessons at this pool I agree that the cleaning of the changing areas has often fallen short of the standards we expect.”

He said the mark below the clock has been removed and “is believed to be rust rather than blood”.

Cllr Hoskin said one of the issues impacting on cleanliness is the popularity of the pool, with lesson attendance 30 per cent higher than at Central Pool – a facility four times larger than the pop-up pool.

He said the council has been working with Greenwich Leisure (GLL), who manage the pool, to improve the cleaning service but “staying on top of the standards of cleanliness in the changing area has remained problematic”.

GLL are looking into how they can change programming at the pool to allow for more peak time cleaning without reducing availability of the facilities.

He said tiles are being damaged because of the frequent removal of steps which provide access to the pool.

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A modern new competition pool, complete with diving provision, is planned on land at Rivermead in north-Reading.

The council will also build a new pool in Palmer Park, in east Reading, to replace the controversially closed Arthur Hill swimming pool on Kings Road.

Full Council also discussed a petition to consult Reading residents on the future of Arthur Hill, which closed in December 2016.

The council has decided to turn the pool into key worker housing after a previous plan to sell it off fell through.

Campaigners and residents have vociferously opposed the closure and want the pool to be reopened but the council have rejected this idea and the proposed consultation.