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Government cutbacks end free Preston swimming

Posted on - 2nd August, 2010 - 9:00am | Author - | Posted in - News, Recreation, Sport

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Government cutbacks have seen an end to free swimming for children and pensioners in Preston.

A decision made in June to stop funding free swimming means that as of Sunday 31st July everyone would be paying for their pool time at Preston’s Fulwood and West View Leisure Centres.

A government grant of £114,000 used to allow under-16s and over 60s free access to the Preston city council pools.

Councillor Christine Thomas, cabinet member for community services, said: “We simply cannot afford the £100,000 a year it costs to provide free swimming. It would be like adding 1.5% on everyone’s council tax just to pay for free swimming alone.

“Given the other cuts in public spending that all public bodies, including the City Council, will be expected to make we just cannot afford to provide free swimming any more.”

The Council will still continue to provide the Passport to Leisure scheme which offers discounted rates for people to take part in leisure activities.

Image credit to teachernz

What do you think about this decision? Would you be willing to pay higher council tax to fund free swimming? Do you have children or older relatives who used to get free swimming? Let us know what you think in the comments below

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