The Hortaleza facilities, managed by the City Council, and the M-86 complex, run by the Community, concentrate most of the criticism from the residents
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Damaged toilets, broken water access stairs, lawn in poor condition, damaged enclosures in Filomena that have not yet been repaired… The string of complaints from Madrid residents about the poor condition of certain public swimming pools is long and many users black flag some of them.
The Foundation for Environmental Education awards each year since 1985 the distinction of blue flags to the best beaches and ports in the world, based on criteria such as water quality and environmental management.
In return, since 2005 Ecologists in Action has awarded black flags to the most polluted beaches on the Spanish coast. tracing a smile, in Madrid there are some public swimming pools that bring together most of the criticism of users due to lack of maintenance, breakdowns or dirt, among other things.
It is the case of the vegetable, which within those managed by the City Council is the most problematic. Neighbors report that the state of the lawn to rest is unfortunateand from the municipal government they explain that it is due to a fault in the irrigation system, but that they are already working to make it regrow.
Sonia San Andrs, from the Hortaleza Union Neighborhood Association, affirms that the attempt is late: We are already in August, and it is not that the grass is yellow, it is that there is not even grass, she laments.
Residents explain that they also there are no shaded spaces and litter bins, and that some days they have detected green in the water, where a greasy layer is usually formed by the remains of sun creams. These are the conditions of the The only open swimming pool in the district of Hortaleza, with almost 200,000 inhabitants. If you are going to close some, you have to provide more resources to those that remain open, says San Andrs, who explains that he has not yet received a response from the City Council.
From the association they attribute it to the lack of interest of the current municipal government: We think it’s a joke. We do not want to think that they make distinctions of social classes between the neighborhoods of the periphery and others such as Chamber or Salamanca. In Hortaleza we deserve something else.
The situation is similar in M-86 Sports Complex, located in the Retiro and managed by the Community. There, users have three outdoor pools available: one for babies and two small ones. The two largest ones are reserved for the Spanish and Madrid swimming federations, so they are not open to the public.
From the regional Executive they have recognized that during July some athletes -they have not specified how many- were training there, but that throughout August they will be closed for maintenance work. It is the only swimming pool for the almost 120,000 residents of this district.
‘Lay down in a quagmire’
The floor tiles scorch in the heat and the grass is not maintained. You have to lie down in a quagmire, declares Flix Sánchez, from the Retiro Norte neighborhood association. The less deteriorated area of grass is reserved for children’s camps, so no one else can settle there. In addition, they also do not have a coffee service, which will not be available until the end of August.
Residents claim to be able to use the large pools during the summer. It is a matter of political will and spending the money, says Sánchez, who adds: Given that within the M-30 the possibilities of building outdoor pools are very limited, We asked Ayuso for a small investment in the M-86 for the Retiro and Salamanca districtswho also do not have a discovery.
It is the case of the Vicente del Bosque (Fuencarral-El Pardo), where leaks were detected and only the heated pool and the outdoor children’s pool have been opened. In Francos Rodríguez (Moncloa-Aravaca)the adult pool and the purification system are being renovated, and a new children’s pool will be built by the end of 2022.
Finally, in the Luis Aragons (Hortaleza) it is about repairing the damage caused by snowfall Filomena a year and a half ago. The City Council has reported that the works will be financed from remnants of 2021, so it was necessary to start them now in order not to lose the credit.
PROBLEMS WITH TICKETS
The municipal swimming pools have two entrance shifts: from 10:00 to 15:00 and from 16:00 to 21:00, with an hour between one and the other to clean and disinfect. 95% of the tickets are sold telematically through the mobile application or the City Council website.
The remaining 5% is reserved to be sold at the box office, but only for over 65s, holders of the madridmayor.es card and holders of the special sports card. In the case of the pools managed by the Community, there are no shifts (hours from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.) and the sale is exclusively online, with prices notably more expensive.
Throughout the summer there have been user complaints about this method of operation and the various failures it presents. Clients report that tickets sell out very quickly, sometimes in just a few minutes, and that sales websites are confusing and regularly crash.
When the user recovers the connection, the tickets have already finished and many people are left out of quota. all of it in a summer with record temperatures and marked by the heat wave. For this reason, residents claim to be able to recover box office sales for all users and speed up and improve the Internet sales system.