I’ve made the decision recently to allow all under 16’s to swim in both Kirkham and St. Annes pools for free between 9 and 12 weekdays during the summer holidays.

This is as I’ve also made the decision to cancel the rural swim bus. This bus went once a week around the rural villagers picking children up so they could get one hours swimming. However, in recent years this service has not bee well used by the children and last year there was some trouble. It cost’s about £1,000 a year to run, which is basically not value for money in today’s day and age where most, if not all villagers have bus routes and most people have a car.

The scheme was excellent in days gone by when cars and buses were less readily available, however it just is not being used, regardless of the advertisement of the service. I really do think that in today’s cotton wool society parents don’t readily allow children to go swimming on their own, especially on a bus. The usage figures bear this out.

So that is one of the reasons why I am scrapping this service. The other reason is it can only benefit a few and only once a week at that. My replacement scheme allows all children to swim for free when ever they chose, as long as it’s in the morning and during the week.

This creates more choice, more exercise opportunity and more diversionary activity. I want the many to benefit, not just the few that went on this bus. I think most people, if not all people feel that the scheme I’ve introduced is fair and far and away a better system than the bus.

You would have thought so; However, not all are willing to see the benefit of my free swimming. Several independent councillors have got together (so who don’t even represent wards where this service used to run!) to challenge and call in the swim bus decision.

I think they are barking mad. Why are they so hell bent on preserving this under used, outdated, unfair service, for the few and why are they not embracing the new scheme that will benefit 9,000 under 16’s in this borough.

I say swimming for the many, they say swimming for the few. The young people of Wesham will benefit from this scheme as transportation to Kirkham baths is not a real issue. However, with the bus service, Wesham’s young people would not benefit at all.

So this is the bizarre situation we’re in. One Wesham Councillor, ie me want to give free swimming to all Wesham’s and the Borough’s young people, the other councillor in Wesham want to stop my scheme and stop Wesham’s children from 6 weeks of free swimming. So much for representing Wesham’s interests!

Swimming for the many, or swimming for the few, simple choice.

If you want any further information on this please call or e-mail


simon@wesham.com 682582