Labour councillors in Wandsworth are calling on Wandsworth Council to reinstate free swimming for children permanently, after almost 5000 youngsters took advantage of the free swim offer during the half term break.
Wandsworth Council agreed to reintroduce free swimming temporarily during the recent jubilee half term break, following a request from Labour's children's services spokesperson Cllr Sheila Boswell.
Free swimming for children was introduced under the last Labour government, but funding for the initiative was cut when the new Coalition government came to power in 2010.
Given that the Council now has new responsibilities for public health, Wandsworth's Labour councillors are calling on the Council to invest a small sum in permanently reinstating free swimming for under 16s.
Cllr Boswell said: "The enormous popularity of my recent free swim initiative shows that there are plenty of children in the Borough who would go swimming more often were it not for the charges. Wandsworth Council needs to reconsider its decision to scrap free swimming, and invest a small sum of money in its children's health and wellbeing.
“I am delighted that so many children took up this offer. On the occasion of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897, it was proposed to give ‘a treat’ to the poor children of Battersea in the form of a Jubilee meal. I thought it would be great to replicate this in a modern day universal gift to mark the occasion of this Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and so proposed the idea of free swimming during half term week for all Wandsworth children under 16.”
June 23, 2012