From January 1st, a standard fee of £2 will be required for children to swim at any of Walsall's baths, as free swimming sessions for children have been scrapped as the council looks to cut millions of pounds from its budget.
The move marks the end of seven years of free swimming for under 16s, which was introduced to improve children's health and help families who are strapped for cash. Walsall-born paralympic gold medallist Ellie Simmonds backed the initiative when it was launched back in 2008.
Walsall Council had pledged to continue funding the scheme until at least April 2016, however the plug is now being pulled for definite on the sessions.
Leisure cheif, Councillor Anthony Harris said the council along with Public Health England, has spent £700,000 on the free swimming programme but it was "not sustainable in the current climate" to continue funding at that level.
More than 30,000 children have made use of the scheme since it was introduced at Walsall Gala Baths, Oak Park Leisure Centre and Darlaston Swimming Pool.
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