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'Penlan Leisure Centre staff ruined boy's birthday fun'

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 30, 2012

Cameron Finch and his dad Paul

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A SWANSEA man has claimed his son's pool party was ruined because of the way leisure centre staff handled the evacuation of the venue following reports a man had climbed on to its roof.

Paul Finch had been celebrating Cameron's 11th birthday party at Penlan Leisure Centre surrounded by his 30 friends when half-way through they were told by a staff member to leave the pool.

The project manager, of Cwmgelli Close, Treboeth, said the youngsters were left upset after another staff member said that "something had kicked off in the building and armed police are on the way".

Mr Finch, who was at the party with wife Lisa, 38, and daughter Carys, 3, claimed they were told to leave the venue in their bathers.

But a Swansea Council spokesman said they evacuated the building on police advice and they felt their staff acted in a professional manner.

Mr Finch claimed: "A member of staff asked us to leave via a fire exit into the car park.

"At this point a member of our party who is a paramedic explained that we would not take the children into the car park in bathers as this could be potentially fatal for some due to the weather.

"At this point the member of staff stated, 'Well I've told you, it's up to you,', shrugged their shoulders and walked off."

He added: "Then another member of staff explained we could change and then leave. We all moved to the changing area where some of the children were crying and getting very anxious."

A South Wales Police spokesman said: "Police were called to Penlan Leisure Centre at 4.28pm on Sunday following reports a man had climbed up some scaffolding on to the top of the building. The man came down and was later found at a nearby house before being taken to hospital."

A Swansea Council spokesman added: "The building was evacuated on police advice and we're satisfied our staff acted professionally.

"Many other customers were complimentary about the way they handled the incident."

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