Free swimming for Southwark residents

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Wednesday 26 March 2014 12.14pm
Will be interesting to see if they limit this "free" membership to those on benefits as to all of the residents in Southwark.
Wednesday 26 March 2014 1.09pm
That sounds like a Tesco's Special offer: vote in Labour, swim for free. Every little helps.
Wednesday 26 March 2014 1.18pm
eDWaRD WooDWaRD wrote:
That sounds like a Tesco's Special offer: vote in Labour, swim for free. Every little helps.

HAHAHAHA!!! Very true though
Wednesday 26 March 2014 2.38pm
A few thoughts on this...

A couple using Fusion gyms pay 86 a month. If this becomes free, Southwark are effectively saving that couple, who could be well off, almost the whole amount of their monthly council tax bill (or a fair chunk of it at least).

I'm all for free gyms, but how, or why, at a time when Labour constantly bemoan 'savage cuts', are they using council resources to fund this?

Yes, poorer residents of the borough will now get free access which is great, but at a time when food bank usage is on the rise and energy bills are unaffordable, I'd wager people would prefer something more useful to help keep their heads above water.

Southwark know full-well that large cuts are on the way, even if Labour win the next election. It seems mad that other crucial services will need to be cut, in order to pay for this policy.

It's seems to much of a pre-election bribe for well-off gym going residents to me. And it's not as if there aren't loads of parks to go running in with free-to-use outdoor gyms throughout Southwark already. Is income really a barrier to fitness?
Wednesday 26 March 2014 3.38pm
Sounds like another good reason to vote out the current administration. Not only a silly bribe but one that will help ensure their new public swimming pool is as worn out and poorly maintained as their housing stock for lack of sustainable income and usage... I was out again this morning with my can of Hammerite repainting communal doors to our 10 storey tower block that the dear council are responsible for. They've torn up the time table for redecorating the exterior or interior. It is being allowed to decay, putty and concrete chunks fall off the building, the surveyor's 2013 report is not shared with the TRA etc. etc.
Wednesday 26 March 2014 3.47pm
So the council that are nicking bits of peoples benefits are going to give us all free swimming, that's Labour.
Wednesday 26 March 2014 3.49pm
Laurie1984 wrote:
Is income really a barrier to fitness?

I need to exercise to keep healthy (doctor's orders...). I started running years ago (not in a Forrest Gump way :)) because, apart from the investment in good running shoes, it's cheap and flexible. I would prefer to swim though, as it is a better workout, but I don't like the "Gym Culture" and membership prices just to be allowed to swim in a tiny pool are prohibitive. Also, I believe running is not for everybody (I used to have a running partner who had to stop because her tight nasal passages practically caused her to hyperventilate, defying the purpose of running - she now cycles). For me personally, working out is a virtuous circle, I do think that income can be a barrier to fitness (even martial arts clubs aren't cheap e.g. if you add travel to and fees for tournaments to the membership fee). I can afford fitness for me and my family, but I do think it is in the bigger interest to make fitness affordable/free for people on lower income.
Wednesday 26 March 2014 3.56pm
Fair point. How about free swimming for those as registered as in need of benefits, whether medical or financial, rather than a blanket bribe to all residents?

But presumably Peter John's team could always retract their offer after the election if they won (as they presumably will), citing unforeseeable costs and cutbacks elsewhere - i.e. do a Lambeth Labour party - and then use less money to give more targeted help?

I'm surprised they even feel the need to dangle this crudely cut carrot given that their natural opposition is so weakened by their reputation from national politics.

eDWaRD WooDWaRD wrote:
Laurie1984 wrote:
Is income really a barrier to fitness?

I need to exercise to keep healthy (doctor's orders...). I started running years ago (not in a Forrest Gump way :)) because, apart from the investment in good running shoes, it's cheap and flexible. I would prefer to swim though, as it is a better workout, but I don't like the "Gym Culture" and membership prices just to be allowed to swim in a tiny pool are prohibitive. Also, I believe running is not for everybody (I used to have a running partner who had to stop because her tight nasal passages practically caused her to hyperventilate, defying the purpose of running - she now cycles). For me personally, working out is a virtuous circle, I do think that income can be a barrier to fitness (even martial arts clubs aren't cheap e.g. if you add travel to and fees for tournaments to the membership fee). I can afford fitness for me and my family, but I do think it is in the bigger interest to make fitness affordable/free for people on lower income.
Wednesday 26 March 2014 4.47pm
Don't tempt me
There are a few heads I would like to hold under the water of the swimming pool until the bubbles stop...blub blub blub
Wednesday 26 March 2014 4.51pm
I'd much rather they just charge a sensible, nominal fee to use the pool. I can well imagine a free swimming pool being misused, to the annoyance of people who actually want to swim.
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