Safety concerns at Lochside

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Users of the free-weight gym at Forfar Lochside Leisure Centre have raised concerns over the safety of the equipment they are provided with.

The members claim they are expected to use rusty and broken equipment to complete their workout as there is no comparable facility in Forfar.

A total of five members spoke to the ‘Dispatch and Herald’.

The gym is the only one of its kind in the local area. Similar facilities do exist but members said that they do not have the same range of weights that Lochside has. It’s claimed that around 40 to 50 people use the gym on a regular basis.

One member, a welder by trade, also claimed he had resorted to fixing broken equipment himself as they are “falling apart”. He has not been paid for the work and the work has not been inspected by the council.

“They keep putting the prices up but they don’t do anything for us.

“There’s supposed to be a maintenance company that comes in but nothing’s ever done. If you walked past it you’d think it’s someone’s garage, the state of it.

“They said they can’t afford it but they’ve got a brand new gym upstairs with MP4 players and a new reception put in.

“We have a machine with cables, there’s two of them, and one’s jammed solid. You can’t use it.

“If anything is broken upstairs it gets replaced right away.

“Kirrie’s gym has been done up, Brechin got done up, Arbroath’s got a brand-new gym and we get all the left-overs.

“There’s nowhere else to go except Dundee, you’re half an hour to get there, an hours training and half an hour back plus your fuel costs – it’s not worth it.

“If there was another weights gym in Forfar the place would be empty.

“We don’t want much, just to be treated the same as the folk upstairs. We are all paying customers.

“The bActive membership people have been offered money off for broken heating but we don’t have any heating at all, even when it’s been -16C outside, we don’t get money off.

“Our floor gets so slippery too, it’s so bad that you can’t even walk on it and they are expecting us to lift weights on that.”

Another member added: “We pay a lot of money to come here and they just won’t repair anything. A couple of benches have been fixed but we have dumbbells missing and that’s no use.

“We have dumbbells that go from 30lb to 40lb and that’s quite a big jump for folk and some sets have one of the dumbbells missing.

“They promised us last September that they were ordered and due for delivery but they’ve still not appeared but now they’re saying we wont get them until April when the new budget comes in.

“You can’t wear good clothes in there because the weights are all rusty and it stains your clothes but every time we try and get new equipment or something replaced they threaten to close the facility.

“We just want to be able to train properly, with all the right weights.”

A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “The equipment in the weight training area at Lochside Leisure Centre is all safe to use.

“We are aware that the assisted pull-up machine is broken, however, it will be repaired as soon as possible.

“We have received a few complaints recently regarding outstanding repairs, cleanliness and equipment going missing.

“Management arrangements have been reviewed and amended where necessary to address these issues.

“The request for additional equipment has been noted and will be considered as part of the department’s equipment replacement programme. Customers are requested to report any equipment concerns to any member of staff and arrangements will be made to address the faults. On no account should customers attempt to carry out any repairs themselves.

“A number of improvements have been made to the weight training area in recent years including: painting of walls and woodwork; floor covering replacement and additional equipment installed.”