Somerset swimmers fear East Devon prices

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 June 2012

John Pittman.

John Pittman.

Archant

Cost of using Goldenstones pool has gone up since Leisure East Devon took over the running of the Yeovil amenity.

Swimmers could be deterred from using a pool now that Leisure East Devon (LED) has taken over the running of it, pensioners claim.

Some prices have shot up by 28 per cent since the not-for-profit group took over Goldenstones in Yeovil and campaigner John Pittman, 69, fears prices will soon match those at Honiton Swimming Pool - £4.50 a session.

He wants to hear from local swimmers to gauge their views on charges.

“I used to be able to pre-buy books of 12 swims for the price of 10 and it worked out at £1.79 a session,” he told the Midweek Herald.

“Those books have now been withdrawn and the cost of a swim has risen to £2.30 - a rise of 28 per cent.

“We are being encouraged to become members of the pool, but I don’t want to subscribe to direct debit payments.”

Mr Pittman has told Lib Dem MP Daivd Laws: “We have a £4.50 charge for pensioners looming down on us.

“This will mean most definitely that our swimming days will have to stop.”

He is urging Mr Laws to work with Conservative MPs Hugo Swire and Neil Parish to broker a better deal for regular swimmers at pools run by Leisure East Devon. He wants the pre-pay books reintroduced at a price of £25.30, offering just one free swim.

A spokesman for LED said: “LED, as a non-profit making charitable trust, is committed to providing opportunities for leisure participation for the whole community, offering a wide range of activities at value for money prices, including discounts for those on low incomes regardless of their age.

“We regularly review our prices in conjunction with the respective district councils to ensure we achieve the right balance between customer prices and council tax subsidies. In East Devon we offer a simple ‘pay as you go’ price, and an extremely competitive membership option for regular customers.

“In addition, the Passport to Leisure provides discounts on both activity prices and memberships, and is available to all residents receiving means tested benefits.

“In 2011, for instance, LED reduced the price of swimming for families and introduced free swimming for children under five in East Devon, which has resulted in an increase in attendances for these particular customers.

“The trust has no immediate plans to increase any prices and will only do so following consultation with the respective council.”

Mr Pittman would like to hear from pool users in East Devon. He can be contacted on 01935 476643 or email jjpittman@talktalk.net


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