Council should splash out

SIR - I was frustrated to learn that the Conservative North Herts District Council has categorically rejected Government money for free swimming for the under-16s and over-60s. This is in stark contrast to neighbouring authorities such as Stevenage and ot

SIR - I was frustrated to learn that the Conservative North Herts District Council has categorically rejected Government money for free swimming for the under-16s and over-60s. This is in stark contrast to neighbouring authorities such as Stevenage and other areas around the country who are working hard to support the initiative for the benefit of their communities.

The scheme, which is backed by £140 million of central government money, is designed to encourage exercise at a time when there are increasing concerns about obesity and the sedentary nature of society. The Conservatives themselves have highlighted the issue. In a speech just this summer David Cameron spoke of "people who eat too much and exercise too little". What's more, according to official NHS statistics published in January this year, 16 per cent of 2 to 15-year-olds and 24 per cent of adults were classified as clinically obese.

So after the great success of Team GB at the Olympics and at a time when we are all inspired to get moving by gold medallists such as Victoria Pendleton, I think the council should think again and make this scheme work.

OLI de BOTTON


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