The Workers' Party in Cork has called for a reduction in the cost of using the city's public swimming pools saying that the rates are far too high and are discouraging people from using the facilities.
Workers’ Party spokesman Denis O’Connor said that the Cork City Council owned swimming pool at Churchfield was a no-go area for many people because it was simply too expensive and he called on the City Council to give children at least one free hour of swimming per week at the centre. “The run of bad weather this summer means that many children are bored out of their minds. They can’t go to the Lee Fields for a swim because it is too dangerous and there is no lifeguard on duty there currently”, said Mr. O’Connor.
The leisure centre at Churchfield is owned by the city council but operated on its behalf by a private company, Leisureworld.
“I spoke to a grandfather on Saturday night and he told me that he had just been with his two grandchildren at Leisureworld in Churchfield and it had cost him €16 for one hour swim. He was dismayed because he would love to be able to go to the swimming pool twice a week or more but couldn’t afford to do so.”
“I think it is a total disgrace to be charging people €16 for an adult and two children to swim for one hour at Churchfield. It is unsustainable for families to pay these rates, especially if they have four or five children going. I am also very worried that it may drive children who want to swim to dangerous places such as the Lee Fields. The provision of a public swimming pool should be about providing public leisure facilities, not profit. Politicians of all parties talk about the importance of leisure facilities but what use are they if they are priced beyond the reach of the people who need them most?”, said Denis O’Connor.
“I am calling on the local councillors who were elected by the people of the Northside to speak to the City Manager and to demand the reduction of prices and to make the Leisureworld more available to ordinary people”, said the Workers’ Party spokesman.