Council to consider plans to raise concession age and abolish free swimming for under-fives at Fenland leisure centres

THE over-60s may soon be refused discount at Fenland’s leisure centres as the council continue to search for ways of boosting their dwindling budgets.

Plans to raise the age of concession to 65 as well as abolish free swimming for the under-fives will be put to councillors on Fenland District Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Policy Panel on Thursday.

Customers over 60 currently enjoy a 30 per cent discount at Fenland’s leisure centres in Whittlesey, Wisbech and March.

But if the recommendations for 2011 are approved by councillors next week concessions will be raised to 65 and restricted to “off-peak” times - weekends and before 4:30pm on weekdays.

It is also recommended that a �1 charge is introduced for swimmers under five and that charges on all services are increased to match the rise in VAT.

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It is proposed that services that are not subject to VAT - such as swimming lessons - are increased by 2.5 per cent and that learner pool prices are increased by 10 per cent.

The council report states: “Adults presently receive a 30 per cent discount at age 60, regardless of their income or when they visit the leisure centres.

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“The age of 60 appears to have been set for a number of years. However, with increases in longevity and reflecting changes to national policy in relation to retirement age, it proposed that the age the concession becomes applicable is raised.”

It is estimated that running the leisure centres will cost Fenland District Council around �800,000 this year - which works out at about �1 for each visitor.

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