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Special Council Meeting will Decide on Free Swimming

September 5, 2009 4:51 PM
cartoon of someone swimming

Will the borough council vote for Free Swimming on Monday 7th September?

A special meeting of the Leisure Committee has been convened for 7th September and will decide upon central government's grant toward Free Swimming.

In reality, the government grant does not cover all the cost of the programme, which will extend to under 16s and over 60s, but is merely a contribution. Both the borough council and GLL (which runs the Rainbow Centre) would have costs associated with the programme. Initially, for the remainder of 2009/10 the cost to the borough council would be £10,000, with £24,000 the anticipated cost for 2010/11. The borough council is anticipating a budget deficit for 2010/11 requiring a cash freeze on budget and additional service cost reductions, in order to make ends meet.

The Liberal Democrat group of councillors proposed cuts in the civic and democratic budget for 2009/10 which were not accepted by the ruling group and there may be economies to be found in other budget heads which would offset the cost of supporting the Free Swimming programme.

The meeting on Monday 7th September will undoubtedly produce a wide variety of views from the Labour councillor, the Conservatives and the ruling Residents' Party. These councillors, along with ten Liberal Democrats, make up the 38 councillors of the borough council, all of whom are entitled to speak and vote at the meeting.