STAFF at Witney's leisure centre have been urged to up their game after a fresh wave of complaints about 'filthy' facilities.

Residents shared claims of malfunctioning showers, unclean toilets and strange smells at the Windrush Leisure Centre, in Witan Way, on Facebook last week.

The comments prompted two surprise inspections from West Oxfordshire District Council officers and the facilities, run by the council’s leisure operator GLL Better, have since been deep cleaned.

But cleanliness issues have dogged the venue for several years and Luci Ashbourne, Labour district councillor for Witney Central, urged customers to speak out.

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She said: "Residents are giving up hope that things will improve. This is as disgraceful as the problem itself.

"The long term goal should be that we provide a modern facility that can meet with the demand of our growing town – but the current hygiene issue is the immediate priority.

"I am relieved that, in light of renewed pressure, the facility has been given a deep clean and I hope this sets the benchmark from which standards can remain and become normalised.

Oxford Mail:

"GLL is contracted using public money to provide a public service. If this problem persists as it has done in the past, it simply cannot be justified."

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Concerned customers created the Facebook group 'Campaign for a better Leisure Centre for Witney' in 2016, with a forum held in March that year.

Some of the group's 486 members have regularly posted complaints ranging from water temperatures to customer service since then, while the latest concerns include 'filthy' toilets and broken poolside showers.

Oxford Mail:

One person, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: "It's frustrating that the staff cannot get the basics of cleaning right at the leisure centre. People have to complain in order for the centre to be cleaned."

Melanie Damney, from Marcham, near Abingdon, added: "I pay for three of my children to do swimming lessons there and am always so disappointed in the standards, including cleaning and non-working showers."

Last March, the small pool was closed for several days after six swimmers reported itching and rashes.

Read also: Pool shuts after swimmers complain of 'itching and rashes'

GLL has held the contract for the district's sports and leisure facilities since May 2017 and runs more than 280 centres across the UK, including those in Chipping Norton and Carterton.

A spokesperson said council officers had been 'satisfied' with the levels of cleanliness and revealed the centre gets a 'weekly' deep clean.

Oxford Mail:

She added: "We're confident good levels of cleanliness are maintained at Windrush Leisure Centre; although we acknowledge that during the summer holiday period footfall significantly increases, putting extra pressure on changing areas at peak times."

Michele Mead, cabinet member for health and leisure, said the district council was working with GLL to maintain 'suitable standards'.

She added: "We want to make sure that leisure facilities in the district are places residents want to use and them being clean and up-to-standard plays a big part in this.”