The Venue Leisure Centre, Borehamwood, to open soft play area this weekend in place of spa

Borehamwood Times: Dawn Barton and husband Trevor Dawn Barton and husband Trevor

The fight to save a spa from closing down ‘fell on deaf ears’ and a second soft play area for children will open in its place this weekend.

Disabled campaigners who relied on the jacuzzi at The Venue Leisure Centre started a petition to save it from demolition in November.

They argued the need for another soft play area was slim as the current on was rarely used by children - so a second one would ‘be a pointless waste of money’.

The centre is preparing to host an open day in honor of the new soft play area this weekend, all the while disabled people - who used the spa to soothe painful joints - are left suffering.

Dawn Barton, of Ashley Drive, has arthritis and began a petition urging the leisure centre to re-think their ‘irrational and unfair’ decision.

The petition received 67 signatures - but this was not enough to save the spa.

The 57-year-old said: “I am devastated, but I expected them to turn a blind eye to the petition.

“It made me angry at the time but now I realise this is not worth the hassle. It is a shame it has fallen on deaf ears, but at least we can say we tried.

“I am frustrated because they do not seem to have taken any consideration at our emotional needs in this whole thing.”

Her husband, Trevor, also relied on the spa to help ease the pain caused by his toe condition, Mortons neuroma.

Many who signed the petition cited their reasons for supporting it, with one claiming ‘Too many disabled people will be hurt by this’.

Another read: ‘Disabled people are still not getting a fair deal. Hertsmere should be encouraging accessibility and use of such facilities by the elderly and disabled, not making it more difficult for them.’

The Venue previously told the Borehamwood Times another spa in the exclusive section of the leisure centre was still available for use.

But father-of-two Paul Simmonds, who has a condition similar to multiple sclerosis, said this was not accessible to those who use a wheelchair.

In October, he told the Borehamwood Times: “It is going to be a hassle. They are depriving me and many others of this vital facility.”

Users were also left angry at the lack of notices advertising the closure - and were only alerted to it by chance a week before the spa was demolished.

The Borehamwood Times is awaiting comment from The Venue Leisure Centre.

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