Council urged to speed up re-opening of South Tyneside gym

Fiona Henderson also claims an attempt was made to take her latest gym membership fees.
Fiona Henderson also claims an attempt was made to take her latest gym membership fees.

A fitness fanatic has called on council bosses to speed up the repair of a key South Tyneside gym.

Fiona Henderson, 46, of South Shields, used the gym at the £16m Haven Point centre, in Pier Parade, almost every day until a burst pipe caused its closure in late-August.

It’s taking such a long time for the gym to be ready to use again, and it’s very annoying

Fiona Henderson

South Tyneside Council insists work is “well underway” to repair the flood damage which the burst pipe caused.

Gym members have had their payments frozen for two months, says the council.

But Ms Henderson has been left dissatsfied at the continued state of affairs.

She said: “It’s taking such a long time for the gym to be ready to use again, and it’s very annoying.

“I’ve lost the ability to be able to keep fit for the last six weeks, and for a lot of people, this gym is their only way of keeping fit.

“They say we can go to Temple Park but not everyone can afford the travel.

“It’s very disappointing.”

Ms Henderson also claims that an attempt was made to take her membership fee out of her bank account in the last two months.

She added: “I heard a rumour money had been taken out and when I checked, I had a returned direct debit. I’ve had to justify that to the bank so I don’t get charged. It’s a nightmare.”

A spokesman for the council said: “Work is well underway to repair the gym following unavoidable flood damage caused by a burst pipe. When it re-opens, the space will look completely different, with a new layout and the introduction of some new equipment.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our users for their patience and understanding and remind them that they can use our gym facilities at Hebburn Central, Jarrow Hub, Monkton Stadium and Temple Park throughout the duration of the work.

“We are doing all we can to re-open the gym as soon as possible.

“Given that our full range of facilities have not been available to customers, we took the decision to freeze their payments as a goodwill gesture. Any direct debits taken in error have now been fully reimbursed.”