The East Salford Community Committee was outraged last night when a member of Salford's Over 50s Swimming Club revealed that the University of Salford wanted to charge pensioners for temporary use of its swimming pool.
The Over 50s Club usually has two sessions a week free of charge at Salford Council's Broughton pool, which allows use of both the small pool for non-swimmers and the large pool for others. But Broughton is currently closed for refurbishment. The Club can't use the next nearest Council pool at Clarendon as it's fully booked with school kids, so the University of Salford was approached.
The Club was told that use of just two lanes of the University pool would cost £25 an hour, making a £50 cost for two hours a week, plus a £3 cost if anyone had a car to park.
The Community Committee was told that the Club had members aged in their 60s, 70s and 80s who needed the regular exercise to keep fit and healthy, and that at every other public swimming pool in the city pensioners were allowed in free. £50 was totally restrictive.
The representative from the University who attended the meeting promised to look into the matter, and the East Salford Community Committee resolved to send a letter to the University's bosses expressing concern and disappointment at the proposed fees for pensioners.
This latest snub comes on top of a total ban imposed by former Vice Chancellor Michael Harloe, on the local community using any of the University's facilities at its sports centre.
A further statement on the University of Salford's website reads…
"The University of Salford is an integral part of the local community…we try to make a positive contribution to Salford and its citizens in a variety of ways…We work closely with the city council and other agencies to see how we can contribute to the wellbeing of the city and its residents…"
In its dreams…
STOP PRESS!!! 12:40pm 29th January 2010
The dreams have been realised...
We've just received the following statement from the University of Salford...
"The University has always undertaken to charge the Over 50s Swimming Club the same rate that it is charged at Broughton - even if this is nothing. There has never been any intention to charge for car parking. We are happy to correct any misunderstandings around this subject and welcome the Club to the swimming pool for free..."