A Jubilee treat: Free swimming for all Wandsworth’s children

As a result of the hard work of Labour councillors in Wandsworth all children in the borough will receive free swimming during the summer half term in celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee.

The scheme runs from Saturday, June 2 to Sunday, June 10 at all leisure centres in Wandsworth.

Cllr Boswell, pictured above celebrating with local children, said:

“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”

“Since free swimming was abolished by the Tory-led government, numbers of children swimming have dropped by a third. Local contractors DC Leisure, who are responsible for Wandsworth’s swimming pools have, as a consequence, seen a corresponding fall in income from adults accompanying children, which has hit their bottom line. As such, they have already taken the decision to raise eligibility for free swimming to eight years old.”

The £8,000 cost of the initiative will be met from the leftover funds from the Labour government’s free swimming initiative which ended in July 2010.

Labour members have been talking to parents about the scheme at Falconbrook, Sacred Heart, Chesterton and Battersea Park Schools this week – and there has been a really enthusiatic response.

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