Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Wes Streeting, has announced a new deal between Redbridge Council and Ilford County High School to provide community swimming lessons and classes in order to rapidly reduce waiting lists at Fullwell Cross Leisure Centre.
Under these exciting new plans:
- There will be additional capacity for swimming lessons and classes to benefit the local community
- Ilford County High School will receive £100,000 per year to invest back into pupils' education
- Waiting lists at Fullwell Cross will be tackled and bookings for lessons and classes will be re-opened
When Labour took office last June, there were over 1,500 people waiting for swimming lessons at Fullwell Cross - the majority of whom were local children.
Wes says: "This is a fantastic deal for the local community and I'm thrilled to have been able to provide new facilities for the community in Ilford North. This will benefit the whole community, as well as one of our local schools. I'm really grateful to Council officers, Vision and - most importantly - the staff and governors at Ilford County High School for their community spirit."
Some of the users of private swimming clubs at Ilford County High School have asked questions about what will happen to them in light of these new arrangements. These swimming clubs have been running through private arrangements with the school on short-term, recurring, three-month contracts. Wes has confirmed:
- Where existing clubs can be accommodated within the new timetable, we're making every effort to do so. Of the seven private clubs using Ilford County High, four have been found slots.
- Where no slots can be found, the children involved will be relocated onto new classes run by Vision with no need to join the waiting list.
- Swimming lessons and classes will be cheaper with Vision than existing providers - providing good value to parents.
The development with Ilford County High School follows earlier announcements from Wes Streeting for new swimming provision in the borough. Since taking office as Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Wes has delivered:
- Funding for a new community swimming pool in Goodmayes, to be located at Mayfield School
- Refurbished swimming facilities at Loxford School of Science and Technology, which will be opened to the public after school, at weekends and throughout the school holidays.
Writing in the Ilford Recorder Wes said: "When Labour was returned with a majority in last May’s local elections there were over 1,500 people on the waiting list for swimming lessons - the majority of whom were children. Things were so bad that the list was closed to new applicants.
"We promised a new swimming pool in Ilford South and, thanks to the support and community spirit of Mayfield, Loxford School of Science and Technology and Ilford County High School, we’re delivering two community pools in Ilford South and a pool for swimming lessons and classes in Ilford North.
"A lot of hard work has gone into this from Council officers, Vision and the staff and governors of the three schools, but I simply can’t understand why we had such a lack of action on swimming for so long under the Conservatives. We’re not only delivering on our election pledge, we’re going even further. Coupled with our pledge to deliver free swimming for the under 16s and the over 60s, this is the biggest investment in public health we’ve seen in a generation. I hope we see people of all ages getting fit and active thanks to good political leadership delivering practical results. This is what politics should be about."