City's clever stroke to put more residents in the swim

May 11, 2009 10:45 AM
Julie Smith

Cllr Julie Smith

Cambridge residents are being encouraged to take up offers of free swimming and keep fit thanks to recession busting schemes being run across the city.

Hundreds of city residents are already benefiting from the schemes which have been run for some time, but Cambridge Liberal Democrats believe thousands more could take up the offer.

They are writing to parents across the district urging them to find out more about the "Local Secrets" on offer to their children by Cambridge City Council.

Council officials launched the schemes to directly benefit city taxpayers, unlike the national government scheme which would have left residents paying for free swimming for visitors and tourists.

City Executive Councillor for Arts and Recreation Julie Smith said: "These are completely local schemes for local people.

"We want to make sure that our residents benefit from the programme we have put together and would encourage everyone to take a closer look."

The free swimming is offered at Parkside Pool, and the Abbey Pool to:

• Under 3s accompanied by an adult at all times;

• all Cambridgeshire education authority school groups;

• Local Secrets 'A' or 'B' card holders under 17 between 16:00 and 18:00 between Monday and Friday;

• all those attending swimming courses with the pool management company, SLM, at certain times;

• all over 60s.

Under 3s and those attending swimming courses with SLM and paying by direct debit are also offered free swimming at the Jesus Green open air pool and under 3s at the King's Hedges Learner Pool where opening hours permit.

Cambridge City Council hopes to be able to offer the programme indefinitely, unlike the government scheme which is due to expire within two years.

Cambridge City Council Leader, Cllr Ian Nimmo-Smith said: "This is an exciting programme of free swimming, offering a chance for people to enjoy this sport and keep fit at the same time.

"I would encourage everyone to take advantage of these schemes especially at a time when family budgets are tight."

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