Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Free swimming for your parents but not your kids

At the end of last month Olympic swimmer Mark Foster, 400m Freestyle World Record holder Joanne Jackson, Paralympic Gold Medallist Heather Frederiksen and a handful of the usual ministerial suspects launched a national scheme to provide free swimming to anyone 16 or under and the over 60s using money the Department of Culture, Media and Sport made available last year for the purpose.

Yes, I know. The idea of Gordo's government helping out local people instead of the large corporations they'll be looking to for jobs after the general election is such an alien concept that Dover District Council can be forgiven for being suspicious.

What they cannot be forgiven for is accepting the money for over 60s and not the 16 or unders.

Their official reason for this is it would cost too much to implement. Which would be entirely plausible were it not for the fact I have been unable to get a straight answer out of them about what these costs are or where they would be incurred.

The fact that a tory controlled local authority is giving away 'freebies' to one group which can vote and withholding the same 'freebies' from a group which cannot is purely coincidental of course.


I've just had the following Freedom of Information request brought to my attention:- FOI Request - Free Swimming Scheme

It will be interesting to see what convoluted excuses Dover District Council comes up with to avoid releasing information which they must have had in a readily accessible form in order to make their decision.

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