Peeping Toms will have a field day at new Kentish Town baths

I had no idea when I voted for the Lib Dems in the hope they would save the Kentish Town Swimming Baths that they would adopt a much detested Labour style of government and employ spin doctors to make the uneatable seem palatable (Swimmers modesty will b

I had no idea when I voted for the Lib Dems in the hope they would save the Kentish Town Swimming Baths that they would adopt a much detested Labour style of government and employ spin doctors to make the uneatable seem palatable (Swimmers' modesty will be preserved, H&H letters August 9).

Camden's assistant director of culture, Fiona Dean, offers no comfort whatsoever to the discerning. Those who want dignity and normal modesty in the showers and changing areas at the baths will be bitterly disappointed.

Showers may be separate, as Ms Dean points out, but they stand side by side in an open plan situation where predatory members of the opposite sex will have no difficulty peeping at their neighbours or even join them, if they so wish.

This wretched open plan village idea - ill conceived by the designers Limbrick - tries to be everything to everyone and will please no-one. How are people supposed to make their way from the showers to the changing area in dignity unless they keep their swimming suits on? This situation is totally unacceptable by any standard.


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Cubicles for this, cubicles for that. What happened to time-honoured common sense whereby female swimmers go one way, and male swimmers, the other? This would avoid complicated, confusing arrangements.

Studio and fitness gym users on the first floor are given separate shower and changing facilities without having to make a fuss about modesty and privacy. Why such a discrimination? We are paying an absurdly high price (£25.3m) for these facilities and the least Camden can do to appease the majority is to grant us simple, traditional, inexpensive, segregated showering and changing arrangements. No funny business, thank you.

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Sadly the false start made on changing room plans is only the first of many hurdles the pool designers have to jump. The public can spot a charlatan scheme a mile off. Swiss Cottage has educated us and we don't want a repeat of such massive ineptitude.

And, by the way, when will Ms Dean be publishing the design brief supplied by the our council to the architects?

Celine La Freniere

Talacre Road, NW5

FIONA Dean does not convince me that it would be safe for my teenaged children or myself to visit the pools at the new Kentish Town sports centre. She describes a mishmash of showering and changing arrangements which are so complex and unsatisfactory as to turn off anyone who appreciates knowing what they are getting into when visiting a public place. One would need to be a member of Mensa to understand all the intricate choices on offer.

I am certainly not going to allow my girls to visit a place where men and boys are hanging around the same showering and changing area. There is enough to worry about raising children without fearing that pools can become a breeding ground for indecent exposure and behaviour.

Ms Dean concludes: ''We [the council] want to encourage more people to use our leisure facilities and live more active lives, so I hope this reassures everyone". We need clearly defined separate showering and changing areas for each sex, at all times, if we are to be reassured.

MONICA CRAMER

Daleham Gardens, NW3

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