As we get ever closer to Autumn there is finally have some good news for swimmers in the latest set of changes that are due to be implemented at the ponds over the coming weeks.
The official pond group committees have been continually discussing the best way whist also trying to “discourage” the City Of London (CoL) from continuing with their new charging plans.
Unfortunately, with regard to the compulsory charges, no progress is being made; however, we will continue to do what we can and to also support and promote the activities of other groups where appropriate and in line with our own views regarding the unfair charges.
On to better news (for cold water swimmers at least), draft proposals for the coming Winter Swimming season have been released. Whilst these may be subject to change, the swim groups have had an input and have been able to change a few aspects, these are now close to what will be implemented. This is of course also subject to Covid regulations and restrictions not changing locally or nationally.
The full CoL Winter Swimming details can be found in this document giving a detailed picture of what is happening at each pond and the Lido.
The following is a summary of the key changes:
Until Sunday, 25th October 2020 (Yes, a month later than usual):
From Monday, 21st September 2020:
As part of the review of charges, the CoL agreed to set up a Hardship Fund to enable groups of users excluded by the compulsory charges to continue to swim on the Heath. This second document outlines the CoL’s proposed "Support Scheme" as it currently stands.
The Mixed Pond Association have highlighted the clear inadequacy of these proposals. We feel they offer negligible support to many of the most vulnerable groups which will no doubt need more support and help than ever now. Seeking support is overly complex and there is also no direct support being offered at all.
We will continue to make additional suggestions to CoL to try to work with them to find a better way of supporting swimmers.
In the meantime, if you know of anyone who needs support (or help with online bookings or season ticket purchases when live) then we strongly recommend they get in touch directly with the CoL to seek assistance by emailing HHfirstname.lastname@example.org or call the specific helpline (only open Mon-Fri, 9:00 to 11:00am) on 020 7332 3779.
Also, whilst we appreciate this is a sensitive area, the Mixed Pond Association are happy to try to help those people who need it by working with them and the CoL if required. Feel free to contact us in confidence if you are seeking advice on how to get financial support from the CoL for your swimming.
We will send out more information and updates as soon as we have it confirmed.
Mixed Pond Association