Local Assembly Member for Monmouth, Nick Ramsay, raised concerns in the Assembly last week during the Business Statement, about the Welsh Government’s decision to cut funding for the over 60’s free swimming initiative that has been in existence for many years. Nick has received correspondence from a number of constituents who have expressed their dismay at this decision.
Speaking in the Senedd last week Nick said: “The first issue that I was going to raise with you has already been very eloquently raised by Mike Hedges, with regard to the free swimming initiative and the changes made to that. I hear what you say about a small minority—I think 6 per cent, you said, was the uptake of that. So, nothing's perfect, and I know that the independent review suggested it wasn't fit for purpose, but, like Mike Hedges, I've got constituents, older constituents, who have been concerned about it. So, given that the decision has been taken by the Welsh Government to finish that scheme, I wonder if they could be reassured with what alternative might be forthcoming or in what other ways older people can be encouraged to take up a benefit such as swimming or maybe other activities. I think that that would be appreciated, because there are concerns out there.”
In reply Rebecca Evans AM stated: “Thank you for raising again the issue of free swimming, which was raised by Mike Hedges. In my response to him, I was able to say that we're in a transitional period at the moment, where users are being encouraged to feed back their experience. So, if you were to capture the experiences of your constituents and share them with the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, that would be very helpful indeed.”