Following the re-opening of many leisure facilities in Medway and across the country, many pools including Medway Park have rescinded their policy on free swimming for under 16’s.

Whilst the decision aims to facilitate more effective social distancing, Medway Labour and Co-operative group have raised concerns about the longevity of this decision.

Cllr Andy Stamp, Medway Labour Spokesperson for Regeneration and Communities said, “The decision to remove free swimming for under-16’s raises some real concerns. This must not become just another permanent cut to Council-run services.

“Public safety is paramount and must come first. But whilst we appreciate the rationale given by Medway Council and others regarding the complications of maintaining social distancing amongst under-16s, I am concerned that there is a risk the temporary scrapping of free swimming will become a permanent cut. We cannot allow this to happen.

“I would urge Medway Council to set out when they expect to reinstate free swimming for under-16s.”

Cllr Vince Maple, Leader of the Medway and Co-operative Group added, “Families in Medway are understandably disappointed at the removal of free swimming for under 16’s. The communication of this change has not been unanimously clear across council-run facilities, and it is important that Covid restrictions are not used as a guise for permanent cuts.”

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