As a council we need to continually review how our funding is allocated and ensure that our priorities are met with reducing resources.
For 2015/16 the council has to find savings of £13m from its budget, placing increased pressure on current services. The overall pressure on the budget has forced a change to the current free swimming programme.
Free swimming for children aged 12 and under has been retained to increase participation in sport, promote a lifelong habit of physical activity, develop important life skills and to help reduce obesity rates within a key target group.
It is hoped that this programme will help to increase the number of children who are able to confidently swim 25m by the time they leave primary school and will be able to actively participate later in life.
The council is proud to have delivered the free swimming scheme for the last 4 years. The scheme originally started in 2009 with funding from central government which was stopped in 2010. Although the majority of local authorities did not maintain the programme, the council elected to retain free swimming for residents through its own funding.