Central District Community Service Consultative Council member Luo Ping said Wednesday that the government needed to bring back the normal public swimming pool opening times as well as upgrade the quality of the service provided.
Luo made the comments during a regular meeting of the council at the Patane Market Municipal Complex on the peninsula.
On August 17, the Sports Bureau (ID) announced that two of its public swimming pools – the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Swimming Pool on the peninsula and Cheoc Van Swimming Pool in Coloane -would be temporarily closed as its service provider couldn’t provide enough lifeguards.
Five days later, the bureau made another announcement stating that three other public swimming pools – the Taipa Central Park Swimming Pool and Carmo Swimming Pool in Taipa, and the Hac Sa Park Swimming Pool in Coloane – would also be affected due to the employment dispute between the service provider and its lifeguards.
On August 23, representatives of the Sports Bureau, the Labour Affairs Bureau (DSAL), the 24 striking lifeguards, and their employer Surf Hong met in a negotiation meeting. After the meeting lifeguards agreed to return to work while Surf Hong denied the alleged unfair treatment of its lifeguards, claiming that it was a “misunderstanding”.
However, the Sports Bureau – which runs nine public swimming pools – is still unable to provide a timeframe for when the opening times of the five affected public swimming pools would return to normal. The bureau asked for “understanding” from the public for the inconvenience caused.
“Residents find it hard to understand, and they hope that the government would do its job properly and restore the normal opening times of the affected public swimming pools as soon as possible,” Luo remarked.
Luo urged the government to regulate the lifeguard service provider in a better way, to ensure all the lifeguards could have enough rest.
Meanwhile, she said that the many facilities of the public swimming pools should also be upgraded. She pointed out that family changing rooms at swimming pools should be available.