The Bickerstaffe Record

Being Labour, Breaking News, Cotterill on the Council, Leisure and culture

Swim spin

07.07.10 | 2 Comments

It look like I’ll have to publish the Tory Council statement on the decision to end free swimming for Over 60s at the end of July.  

Here it is, dated 29th June:

“West Lancashire Community Leisure Trust, in partnership with the Council, currently provides free swimming for the over 60s with a grant from Central Government covering a significant part of the cost for the programme.

 When the scheme was first launched in April last year, the Community Trust saw over 1,400 over 60’s register for free swimming but less than 800 actually used the free swimming scheme once they had registered. However overall the number of visits by over 60’s swimmers during the first 12 months of the scheme did increase from 17,721 to 18,354.

With the announcement that funding for the scheme will end in July, the Trust is now looking at a number of potential alternative options for older swimmers, including the possibility of a discounted monthly swim pass for the over 60’s. This and other options will now be considered by the Trust in the next few weeks.”

I publish it here because the Tory council has declined to put the news on its own website, even though it regularly publicises Trust news when it suits.  

Aware that a statement had been requested by the local press, I had to ask specifically for a copy of what should already have been in the public domain for over a week.

Clearly the Tories’ ‘our news, and nothing but our news’ rules still apply.

Just as clearly, this decision by the Leisure Trust, with Council connivance, is an utter disgrace. 

The Trust’s statement conveniently leaves out one basic fact. 

The council pays Serco a million pounds a year (inflation indexed) as a subsidy, according to their gold-plated 15 year contract.  The naivety of the Council entering into this contract is staggering.

While all other areas of the council’s budget are being cut, the Tories don’t have the guts or the gumption to accept that they’ve screwed the taxpayer by entering a long-term contract like this, and then ask Serco to take a hit on their profit and fill the funding gap left by their own Tory government.






Despite being very keen to publish other news from West Lancashire Leisure Trust, who are supposed


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