Dear Editor,

I read the article about the Tadley pool.

I feel that an even greater concern has just arisen in the past week that you may or may not be aware of. 

The Facebook page announced a few days ago that a booking system was going to commence on Monday 13th March in order to go swimming. I understand that all 26 of the Serco run swimming pools are doing this.

No consultation, two weeks notice, no emails directly to members, so that half the members don’t even know of this policy.

I am a retired GP, who had to take early retirement due to ill health. I’ve lived in Ashford Hill for eight years and this has been my swimming pool for all that time.

It’s part of my physio programme as I’m also a registered Para Dressage rider. I’m hoping that I’ll be selected to ride for the country at some point.

This policy discriminates against the elderly, the disabled and women.

In a time where sport is difficult to access in these groups this policy directly discriminates against them.

Oh yes, you can turn up if you like without booking, but you may be turned away if there are too many people.

I suffer from severe migraines and I try to swim three mornings a week, but this varies on how I am in the morning. I’ve just booked four slots a week for a month, so that I can swim on three of them . But I’ve no idea if I’ll make it the night before even.
No shows, and all 60 slots booked.

If you’ve got no internet access you can book at reception. Some of the people first thing in the morning are there every morning. How long is it going to take to book all their sessions at reception?

If you’ve got a disability, as I have, you don’t know how well you are going to be in the next day let alone a month's time.

There are several comments from disabled mums on the FB page.

Women who typically do their sport around looking after a family and working don’t know if they can squeeze a swim in or not.

If you’ve booked and paid online for your sessions (if not a member), you might turn up to find the pool's not open as the boiler has broken again or there has been an incident.

How quickly are they going to get their money refunded? I could go on, but feel this is enough for now.

As a GP I always promoted sport for good health. This is a disgraceful policy.

Dr Ursula Treadgold, Ashford Hill