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Should councils give children free swimming?

The Times reports today that 40% of Councils are rejecting a Government scheme to provide under-16-year-olds free entry to swimming pools. The report gives the example of Mansfield Council (which is run by Independents) where the Council would have had to find £400,000 for the scheme while the Government was only offering £49,000.

Should this be a priority? We often talk about teenagers becoming fat and drifting into anti social behaviour because they don't have anything to do. On the other hand there are plenty of teenagers with parents who are perfectly well able to pay for the swimming. Should Council Tax on pensioners and those on low incomes be hiked to pay for this?


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