He was one of the greatest and most far sighted visionaries Southampton City has ever seen and the driving force behind the creation of the sports centre.

Sir Sidney Guy Kimber fought long battles with the council on making his sporting and recreational dream a reality.

But he would be turning in his grave to know how his pride and joy has become a huge blot on the landscape and an utter disgrace.

The so called custodians – i.e. the council – have allowed this precious green lung in the heart of the city to be run down to such an extent that it is an embarrassment for a city of our size.

It is some while ago that I have visited the sports centre but I recently popped into the area so one of my grandchildren could play on the swings.

I was appalled to see how neglected it had become and it is not a good environment for children to play.

The ageing buildings seem to be either crumbling or rusting away.

Huge weeds are growing out of the boating lake where as a child I spent many a happy hour.

The outdated changing room buildings are not a good advert for visiting sportsmen and women.

The condition of the sports centre does put into question the validity of part of Southampton City Council's mission statement which says the authority “is committed to leading the way in making Southampton a cleaner, greener, healthier, more sustainable and attractive place to live, work and visit.”

The way the sports centre is looking at the moment I don't think many people would find it attractive to visit.

It was not so long ago that residents living in the areas adjoining the sports centre were sounded out for their opinions as part of a wide ranging consultation exercise on shaping the future of the sports centre.

I would like to know how much was spent on that particular exercise because like so many projects in this city nothing seems to happen.

The council will no doubt use that age old excuse about the lack of funding.

Soon we will be facing inflation busting increases in our council tax but just where is our hard earned money going.

It is blatantly obvious that it is not being spent on looking after the city's environment and infrastructure.

I understand that more than a third of our council tax payments go towards town hall pensions.

Might I suggest that council staff, particularly the higher paid grades, put more of their own money into their pension pots and the cash freed up from pensions can diverted into doing up the city's neglected areas, like the sports centre which Sidney Kimber fought so hard to give to the Southampton.