- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Categories: Latest News, Press Releases
MIKE HEDGES AM CALLS FOR THE REINTRODUCTION OF FREE SWIMMING FOR THE OVER 60s.
Speaking from the Senedd, Swansea East AM said…. ‘I am very concerned with the changes which have been made for the free swimming program; when launched it was a mightily successful program which encouraged older people to take exercise and socialise with their peers. I was contacted by many people when changes were made which reduced the number of opportunities for free swimming for the over 60s. I think that this is a BIG mistake and I have already lobbied for the decision to be reversed.
The budget debate is a good opportunity to make the point to the Finance Minister that the Budget would be a good opportunity to reverse this mistaken decision. Free Swimming ticks many boxes for the Welsh Government – it encourages exercise, tackles loneliness, and in the long term improves people’s health.
I think that Free Swimming for the over 60s should have the funding reinstated and go back to the arrangements in place previously.
Mike Hedges AM – I could give you an alternative. I’ll give you an alternative: I’d take money out of the economy budget and I’d put it into the environment budget and I’d put it into the education budget. I’m only asking you to do top-line changes. But, I think, where you would take money off—. Because you have to take money off somewhere to put it in somewhere else.289
Can I start off with a request that’s very easy? Can we have the £1 million return for over-60s free swimming? I am told this followed an independent review that recommended it. Can the Government now accept the independent review into free over-60s swimming was wrong and reinstate the money? The belief in the infallibility of independent reviews and inspectors is to me incredibly worrying—that these people are not infallible. This is money that is really useful in that it gets people out and exercising—the over-60s—and keeps them out of hospital.