Question from: County Councillor Matthew Dorrance Subject: Access to leisure facilities for armed forces veterans
The minutes of the Council meeting held on the 13 July 2017 state:
“In response to Councillor Dorrance’s supplementary question, the Leader confirmed that a scheme allowing for free use of swimming pools and gym membership by armed forces veterans was being developed, based on a scheme operating in Rhondda Cynon Taff Council.”
I welcomed this commitment and as we marked Armed Forces Week will the Leader now provide an update for Council on how that commitment has been progressed and implemented?
Response by the Portfolio Holder:
To confirm, Freedom Leisure deliver two schemes for the armed forces on behalf of Powys County Council. They are:
1. The ‘Access to Fitness scheme’ (ATF) - offering free swimming (public swim sessions only) or free fitness suite access to former members of the armed forces who have been discharged through injury or medical grounds. This is available across all Powys sites and was introduced in 2013.
2. The Welsh Governments ‘Armed Forces Free Swimming Scheme’ (affs). This is available at the following sites and has been in place since 2016/17:-
- Flash, Welshpool
- Maldwyn, Newtown
The ‘affs’ scheme applies to:-
- ‘veterans’ and ‘serving armed forces personnel’
- They must reside in Wales i.e. their home address - not barracks
- They are in possession of an ‘MOD Defence Privilege Card’ and id card.
This scheme does not apply to spouses or partners, family members, friends etc. Those who join the scheme complete an application for Freedom Membership and their registration number from their ‘ID/ Defence Privilege membership’ card is recorded. Sites are reimbursed on a £3-£4 ‘per swim / per head’ basis. The data is collated on quarterly basis and the above sites are then reimbursed for this usage.