A FATHER is concerned that what he says are high prices, and a refusal to take cash for entrance will price those on lower incomes – and younger people – out of enjoying one of Swinson’s better-known attractions.

Richard Apperley visited the Oasis leisure centre in North Star with his partner and two daughters early this week. He was taken aback at the prices – but also angered by the fact that customers could only get in if they paid with plastic.

Mr Apperley, who lives in Stroud, said: “It cost us £25.50 for two adults and two children. And I wasn’t told that the slide was out of action – we only found out that what we got in. It felt like I’d paid a lot for what was basically just a swimming pool.”

But what really upset Mr Apperley, a company director, was that people wanting to use the centre were not able to pay with cash to get in.

He said: “How ridiculous is that? I think it’s disgraceful. The last time I looked the pounds was still the legal tender.

“There was a young woman in the queue who didn’t have a card, who wouldn’t have been let in. The woman behind her pad for her with a card and the young girl gave her the money. That’s a nice thing to do, but that could be embarrassing for people.

“There were others saying they wouldn’t be able to give their teenagers cards. I just think this is wrong - it will make it much harder for people on lower incomes, who might not have cards to get in, if they can afford the high prices.”

Swindon Borough Council owns the site. It is leased by Seven Capital and the centre is managed by Better, the trading name for GLL.

A spokesman said: “Seven Capital is currently part way through a major refurbishment project at Oasis Leisure Centre. This will include a new flume tower in the swimming pool and new slide lane dividers. Behind the scenes a new boiler has been installed and the pool filter refurbished. New showers have been installed in the wet changing rooms and new token machines are now in place. We anticipate this work will be finished by May 25 and are confident that these renovations will really improve our customers’ experience when visiting the centre.

“We are sorry your reader was not aware the refurbishment was underway when he visited. We have advertised the fact on our website, on our social media channels and with posters and signage throughout the building. “

“In December we announced that we would be working towards becoming a cashless facility. Only five to 10 per cent of our customers use cash at our leisure centres and the number is falling. We believe that by removing cash-based transactions we will improve customer service, reducing queues at reception and eliminating the potential for thefts.”

“We consider our pricing to be equitable with similar facilities in the region.”