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Public swimming pools across the UK are under threat from high energy costs, soaring operating costs and continual annual reductions in local authority funding

"Our Pools are in Crisis!

Public swimming pools across the UK are under threat from high energy costs, soaring operating costs and continual annual reductions in local authority funding. 81% of our members, who operate over 850 pools, have indicated that their services are at risk. Their closure would be a catastrophic blow to the nation’s health and wellbeing.

What’s at Risk?

More than ONE Million children learn to swim on the Swim England Swim Programme every year, meaning the loss of a vital lifeskill for a generation of young people.

Accessibly priced healthy exercise for those unable to pay the cost of private club entry, during a cost of living crisis.

An irreparable blow to elite sporting development in the future, losing us our medal-winners of the future.

A route to better public health when our mental and physical health has been under pressure from COVID and declining cost of living.

In Wales 500,000 adults and children swim each week.

Duncan Goodhew MBE

“This is make-or-break time for an alarming number of swimming pools across the UK. It’s madness that the Government doesn’t seem able to see the danger they are in.

“Without pools and leisure centres being classed as vulnerable, the astronomical energy price hikes their operators face will sadly be the final fatal blow for many.

“It’s obvious that we cannot afford for communities to be robbed of swimming pools. People have never needed help with their health and wellbeing more. Yet, without political and financial support, they are going to have fewer places than ever to do that.

“I’ve seen thousands of children learn to swim in their local pools. If there aren’t the places to teach these life-improving – lifesaving – skills they will be lost for a generation.”

How You Can Help

  • Find your local MP’s email address and write to them explaining what your local pool means to you. Your pool might be a place of solace for you that improves mental health. You might train there hoping one day to win Olympic Gold or it may be crucial to allowing your child to learn to swim. Whatever your reason, please let them know.
  • Join our Big Swim Day on Friday 24th February, when we aim to get the country swimming in their local public pools to highlight their plight. Make sure you take a swim that day, to make the point that it’s a valued local facility. Invite your friends, more swimmers making a bigger noise, and having a great time in the process.
  • Follow us on social media, and use the #saveourpools with a photo of your favourite local swimming pool.

Big Swim Day – Friday 24 February 2023

All over the country, on Friday 24th February, we’re encouraging local people to join us for a swim as part of Big Swim Day.

Bring your friends, have a great time and in doing so, let everyone know how important continued access to your local public pool is to you and your community.

Tell the world (and your friends!) that you’re taking part by using #bigswimday and #saveourpools on social media, and do your bit to preserve a vital local facility, and those like them across the country.

Across the country 800 community pools are at risk – let’s swim, make a splash, and let everyone know that public pools are vital to local communities.[ Find out more.](https://communityleisureuk.org/big-swim-day/(opens in a new tab))

Make Your Voice Heard

Share your stories on social media under the hashtag #saveourpools.

Explain why you love swimming, how it helps you achieve your goals and how’s it may have changed your life for the better.

Follow us on Twitter at @CommLeisureUK or find us on [LinkedIn](https://www.linkedin.com/company/communityleisureuk/ t)

Latest News

Get the latest news on the Save Our Pools Campaign

"A coalition of more than 200 bodies and individuals from the worlds of health, sport, recreation, and leisure including Freedom Leisure has written to the Prime Minister with an urgent plea for greater support for grassroots facilities and clubs amid the ongoing energy crisis.

With energy costs relief for the UK’s swimming pools, leisure centres, community facilities, and gyms ending on 31 March, thousands of facilities and clubs are at risk of permanent closure or reduced services, as public and private sector organisations of all sizes face unprecedented financial challenges, with bills remaining up to 200% higher than normal.

For public leisure operators running services within local authorities, the latest data from ukactive’s members shows that 31% of council areas in England remain at risk of losing their leisure centre(s) or seeing reduced services at their leisure centre(s), from 1 April**, with around 350 facilities nationally already having seen service restrictions, temporary and permanent closures since October 2022.

The signatories of the letter range from major health bodies to sport’s national governing bodies, and the nation’s biggest fitness and leisure groups, while athletes such as Rebecca Adlington and celebrities including Davina McCall have also added their support.

The letter warns that, “Failure to identify bespoke support for the sector (and schools operating sports facilities) as part of the Energy Bills Discount Scheme will be the final straw for many facilities and services – especially swimming pools.

Without national intervention, communities will see the loss of essential local services, including swimming lessons for children which are vital for water safety; multi-sport offerings; mental health services; bespoke programmes for older citizens, ethnically diverse communities, women and girls, and disabled people; and long-term health programmes including cancer rehabilitation and support for those with musculoskeletal conditions and type 2 diabetes*.”

Within the letter, the coalition calls for the Government to:

Reclassify swimming pools as energy intensive as part of the Energy Bills Discount Scheme so they have access to the higher level of discount on energy prices.

Set out what tangible support it will provide to the wider sector –including gyms, leisure centres, sports facilities, and clubs –to help navigate the energy crisis across 2023 so that service restrictions and facility closures can be minimised.

Set out a “plan for growth” for the sector by aligning the proposed new Sports Strategy with the Spring Budget to unlock the potential of the sector to support the economic, health, educational and social wellbeing of the nation.": [https://www.freedom-leisure.co.uk/news/energy-crisis-leisure-industry-plea-to-uk-prime-minister/](https://www.freedom-leisure.co.uk/news/energy-crisis-leisure-industry-plea-to-uk-prime-minister/)

*Italics mine.

"I have managed to get myself to A&E at Southampton General twice, on each occasion under lock-down and whilst “shielding”. On both occasions I was suffering from the worsening of a chronic condition due to lock-down stress. The worsening of these conditions was directly related to my inability to access the proper prescribed therapy, that of swimming/aqua-yoga/aqua-aerobics, for the serious and life-changing injuries I sustained as a teenager which caused me to suffer from tissue-damage, muscle-loss, nerve-damage, skeletal, spinal cord and circulatory problems.

I also managed to secure a “Smart Cities” card from the Southampton Unitary Authority the “Get Active” component of which is an entitlement as I receive PIP. What this means, effectively, is that my physician recommends that I engage in certain forms of therapy regularly and that I have a “smart-chipped” card with my photograph on it that entitles me to greater access to such therapy.

As a result of not undergoing therapy I over-strained two old injuries one of which (to my back, pelvis and leg), has become considerably more troublesome and I can be virtually unable to move for days at a stretch. The A&E doctor prescribed a change of pain medication that increased my opioid dose from 4/day Co-codamol 8/500 to 6/day Dihydrocodeine 30mg and I reported to the doctor that the worsening of my condition had induced a self-harm episode. My GP has since concurred with the decision to increase my opioid dose and I now receive Dihydrocodeine on repeat prescription, this is not a solution for chronic pain but medical marijuana (not useless CBD “extract”), is still not available on prescription in Britain.

As I have been shielding I was unable to attend my appointment with Southampton NHS neurology last year but do intend to attend one in August. With various aspects of my conditions worsening and having already attended A&E twice I don’t intend to wait any longer.

It is my contention that provision should be made during a pandemic for patients who require access to prescribed/recommended therapies and if this means only letting those who can prove (and with a Smart Cities card such verification is easy), their status have such access then so be it. This may sound harsh but I reiterate I’ve had to attend A&E twice, whilst shielding, during lock-down!": https://www.freedom-leisure.co.uk/news/energy-crisis-leisure-industry-plea-to-uk-prime-minister/

My analysis of some of the human rights issues related to lockdown (re: provision of “aqua”/swimming therapies), has been ignored even by people like Corbyn (and I wouldn’t expect the faux human rights lawyer Starmer to do anything but), and now we see provision of any kind re: those who require access to facilities offering non-weight bearing exercise being threatened (first did they come for the anti-Semites Keir?).

Just remember these Tories #####s have their own pools whether private or personal and their own gyms ditto, neither do they swim in the waters around our coasts so care little how polluted they are. Why should one when one holidays in the Maldives et.al?


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The Long Descent begins to accelerate. Peak Energy is the key; and it’s irreversible. Expect multitudes of such ‘death by a thousand cuts’ episodes. And remember: “Collapse early, and avoid the rush”…

Again you resort to defeatism Rhis…I refuse to “abandon hope”…I’d rather let the perpetrators do that! #Dante

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Think how many lovely Barratt Homes could be squeezed into these sites though G, Think Of The Poor Developers /sarc

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The overwhelming power of the Long Descent is my main source of confident hope, G. Defeat simply isn’t in the equation. And of course, meanwhile we have to go on opposing the Earth-trashing of the vandals, tooth and nail - transient though I’m confident their insane growth’n’progressforever lunacy will turn out to have been.

Just been up to a Birmingham regional hospital today, where there’s an ace world-leading TAVI team who are busy testing and assessing, as they wind me in to a heart-valve replacement op - using only a little clever catheter inserted into an artery, with just local anaesthetic - FFS! - plus optional tranks. :slight_smile:

Magic! I’m very far from being either a Luddite or a defeatist. In fact, the point of this vignette is that, sitting on the train, staring out of the window, I was suddenly struck by the trees, just everywhere, on every embankment and cutting, and on simply acres of other odd holes and corners right across the whole vista. They invade everywhere where they’re not cut back. And even when they are, as Ted Hughes puts it in his poem ‘Thistles’ “…Next year his sons appear/ Stiff with weapons/ Fighting back over the same ground…”

They trim the sides of the railways periodically. But in no time, the successor trees are back up again, unstoppably…

I was musing how that urban/suburban landscape will look, once the Brit population has shrunk back to the island’s actual carrying capacity, and the forests are returning again, like an unassuageable high-spring tide. I must arrange to get re-born again in one of those healing times… :wink: Defeatist? Oh no, unarguably not. :slight_smile:

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This, what you describe, is going to be extremely unpleasant. Have you ever seen the deagel population numbers for 2025? They reckon we’re gonna drop to about 15,000,000. In less than 24 months

They’ve since removed the numbers from their site, but when pressed about their data, replied that most would commit suicide…

Judging on where I live (council estate, shitty city), it’s gonna be hell. The weak and elderly will be prey and half of my household comes under that category. I’m absolutely terrified of having to go tactical. One of them will blow it rapidly.

As it happens, a banker (Goldman Sachs?) is predicting it goes to shit in 14 days. Fun times.


And to return to the main subject. I swim fairly regularly. Not as often as I should (20 mins in the pool is 30 mins in the gym). Pool have been cold for years, but since 2020, they’ve become perishing.

For the record, the only warm pool I’ve been in for at least 5 years, was in Wales on holiday. Camp site pool. Was lovely, but too shallow for proper swimming.

My protest has been registered (not that they’ll listen …)

Great quote from Ted mate, best of luck with your op let us know when you are going in…there are various therapies, unguents and potions I could recommend (had a great chat with a lady named Gabrielle who is a senior partner in a company producing natural enzymes for domestic and personal -topical-, use and I will be communicating with her today, she has recommended I investigate BT’s apparent threat to discontinue land-line use by 2025, now I feel like crawling under my stone and admitting defeat, I’ll let you guys know what I discover), but my choice for you is, quote;

Step 1: Place the fingers of the right hand on the top of the head (where they will remain until step 6). Place the fingers of the left hand on your forehead between your eyebrows. Hold for 2 to 5 minutes or until the pulses you feel at your fingertips synchronize with each other.
Step 2: Now move the left fingertips to the tip of the nose. Hold them there for 2 to 5 minutes, or until the pulses synchronize.
Step 3: Move the left fingertips to your sternum (center of your chest between your breasts). Stay there for 2 to 5 minutes or until the pulses synchronize.
Step 4: Move your fingers to the base of your sternum (center of where your ribs start, above the stomach). Hold them there for 2 to 5 minutes, or until the pulses synchronize.
Step 5: Move your fingers to the top of your pubic bone (above the genitals, center). Stay there for 2 to 5 minutes, or until the pulses synchronize.
Step 6: Keep your left fingertips in place and move your right fingertips to cover your coccyx (tailbone). Hold for 2 to 5 minutes or until the pulses you feel at your fingertips synchronize with each other.
Note: The right hand remains on the top of the head while the left hand moves down the body until the final step.” Go to: https://www.jsjinc.net/pagedetails.php?id=maincentral-flow&ms=8 For full articles, practitioners and further reading etc."


FYI I havb suffered from various heart issues such as arythmia and tachycardia since sustaining massive blood loss when I ruptured my brachial artery at 15 years of age…one thing I’ve found massively aggravates both conditions is opioid drugs (and tobacco), not, you will note, cannabis!

I can still tolerate The Police but Mr. Gordon Sumner and his works are anathema to me since he accepted an honour…If I had known so many I Ioved were to sell-out so completely I would never have purchased their music…never!



Our pools in Southampton are warm, sorry to hear your having such trouble…try contacting some of the organisations I give the links to on my blog post…

The last few years have been hell, my biggest disappointment was Nick Cave who spurned all criticism of his playing concerts in Israel. Can’t quite bear to chuck the discs away as I’ve been a fan ever since early Birthday Party, but the last album I bought (and listened to exactly once) was Skeleton Tree so the purge will start there. (I sell 'em on eBay). I doubt I could even get a penny for Billy Bragg though. He recently tweeted about how much he approves of the expurgation of Roald Dahl books but somehow anyone who does not is the ‘woke’ villain and not him. O.K.A.Y.

Screenshot 2023-02-24 12.23.11
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Screenshot 2023-02-24 12.25.41


Thanks G. Will give it a go. :slight_smile:

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Let us know how you get one…I use it pretty regularly…really helps (even with mental/emotional health conditions), …

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