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Swimming initiative changes

Published: 13/05/2015

Flintshire County Council is having to make changes to its free swimming provision as a result of a reduction in funding. The Council’s funding allocation for the Welsh Government’s Free Swimming Initiative (FSI) for 2015/2016 is £121,500, which is a reduction in funding of over £43,000 in the last three financial years. The formula for investment is now based on deprivation rather than population. The FSI provides free swimming opportunities for the under 16s and the over 60s, and sets out a minimum criteria for what each Council must provide. These include, for the under 16s, 14 hours of free swimming per week per Council during school holidays; and free swimming for adults over 60 during all public swimming sessions outside school holidays. Due to the reduction in its grant, the Council is having to make some changes to the way it delivers the Free Swimming programme in the County. Flintshire will be utilising the Under 16s element of the grant by providing structured swimming lessons for juniors, in line with the national priority of ‘Every Child a Swimmer’. The Council will also be replacing free school holiday splash sessions with paid splash sessions, and weekend free family swim sessions will be replaced with free junior swim sessions, which will be based at the two Flintshire swimming pools with greatest demand, Jade Jones Pavilion and Mold Leisure Centre. The changes will take effect from Monday 1 June 2015. The Council’s free structured swimming sessions, and free swimming for the over 60s, is proposed to continue on the same basis as the previous year.