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Swimming: Concessions

Volume 491: debated on Monday 20 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) how many swimming pools offering free swimming to over 60 year olds do so only after 9.00 am.; (268182)

(2) what recent estimate he has made of the number of over 60 year olds who have been provided with free swimming; and if he will make a statement.

Around 10 million people aged 60 or over in England stand to benefit from the Government’s Free Swimming programme. We will be monitoring closely the impact of the scheme on levels of participation.

Nearly 300 local authorities will be offering free swimming to those aged 60 or over. This means that people in that age group who wish to swim, at any time throughout the year, when they would normally be admitted to the pool for public swimming, and in accordance with local programming, should not be charged for doing so. Beyond that condition of grant funding, we have not been prescriptive on how participating local authorities should deliver their offer locally.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many swimming pools in (a) Lancashire and (b) England are taking part in the free swimming initiatives. (268184)

We estimate that approximately (a) 38 swimming pools in Lancashire and (b) over 1,000 swimming pools in England are taking part in the Government’s Free Swimming programme. We will be collecting information from participating local authorities on free swimming in their pools as part of our monitoring and evaluation of the programme.