< link rel="DCTERMS.replaces" href="http://trappedcivilservant.blogspot.com" > Aginoth's Retirement Ramblings: No More Anonymity....

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

No More Anonymity....

Well I really want to post the story run in the National Press about us today and our ongoing fight against Sedgemoor Council and Sedgemoor Splash swimming pool...see Mrs.A's Blog for full details, posts since 26th March have been dominated by it :o)

Slowly we have been contacted by a wide spectrum of the media in the UK who want to run the story, today is teh first day it has gone national, we warranted a 3/4 page spread on Page 5 of The Daily Mail, and have been featured on one of Londons main radio stations LBC. In addition we have alread been on BBC Somerset Sound, in several local papers, on the ITV West News (Morning Lunch Evening Discussion, and Late Evening)....and now the BBC has called us today as well !!!

Anyway here is the Daily Mail Picture and the text of the story, so all in one go you'll know what we look like and our real names SHOCK !!!

Click to Enlarge

and here's the body text of the story...

Sunk by safety rules
Lifeguard instructor is told she can’t take children in swim pool
Barred: Keren and David Townsend with their children

A LIFEGUARD instructor and her husband, a health and safety officer, were banned from taking their three children into a toddlers’ pool – because of health and safety rules.

Keren and David Townsend took Ethan, five, Caitlin, two, and Alyssa, one, for a swim in the 2ft 6in-deep pool.

But staff at Sedgemoor Splash in Bridgwater, Somerset, refused them entry because council regulations demand that each child must be supervised by one adult.

Yesterday, 33-year- old Mrs Townsend, a former swimming pool manager, said that such stringent rules put lives at risk because they deter parents from teaching their youngsters to swim.

‘It was absolutely ridiculous,’ she said. ‘The children are all happy and confident in the water and we can hold on to all three of them.

‘This attitude is going to cause more drownings because swimming is such a vital skill.

‘Councils should be encouraging more parents to put their kids into the water so that children can learn in a safe environment.

‘If children don’t go with their mum and dad when they’re young, then they try swimming alone or with their friends in rivers or quarries. It’s a recipe for disaster.’

Mrs Townsend, of Westonsuperhas several diving, swimming and lifesaving qualifications, including the Royal Life Saving Society’s lifeguard trainer certificate.

But her qualifications counted for nothing when the family visited Sedgemoor Splash fun pool on March 26.

The pool, which is run by Sedgemoor District Council, is 5ft 2in at its deepest point of the adult pool, but the toddlers’ pool is separate.

The outing was meant to be a treat after 35-year-old Mr Townsend – an environmental health and safety officer for the Civil Service– had spent time in hospital.

The family were refused entry unless they had a third adult to supervise the children. Mrs Townsend asked the duty manager if he could bend the rules because of her extensive experience and qualifications, but he refused.

The pool was following guidelines issued by the Institute of Sport and Recreation Management, which oversees swimming pool management in Britain.

That advice originally recommended a ratio of one adult per child under five, and one adult for every two children between five and seven.

However, last year the guidelines were relaxed to state that in a ‘controllable non-swimmers area’ one adult can safely supervise two under-eights.

Despite the revised guidelines, Sedgemoor Council has stuck to the more conservative advice.

Mrs Townsend said: ‘What are couples with more than two young kids supposed to do? Find another adult out of nowhere or leave a child behind?’ A council spokesman said: ‘Sedgemoor Splash is a fun pool, with lots of jumping around. That’s why we insist on the ratio.

‘Our customers’ safety is our top priority. We are not killjoys.’ A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said: ‘The council is probably being conservative, but each pool has to be assessed on its own risks.

‘There are lots of reasons why a pool could be difficult to patrol safely, including foliage or furniture, as well as the shape of the pool.


Blogger craziequeen said...

Right, now.......parents - look miserable....and children - just stay still two seconds.....please....

Say 'cheese!'

[snap, snap snappity snap]

got it!!


Wednesday, April 12, 2006 9:02:00 pm  
Blogger CyberKitten said...

So... THAT'S what the Aginoths look like.....! [snigger].


Wednesday, April 12, 2006 9:24:00 pm  
Anonymous Alan said...

Face it, there's just no fighting the jobsworths.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 10:47:00 pm  
Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

I see a strong resemblance in the men of the family. The girls look like they might be a handful. From the look on Mrs. A's face, I wouldn't mess with her. What was that man thinking? ;-)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 11:35:00 pm  
Blogger WendyWings said...

Who ARE those people ?? :)
When you take action you really take action huh, good for you !!

Thursday, April 13, 2006 10:18:00 am  
Blogger Dave said...

Well I think that the guy at the pool was rather brave, I wouldn't have argued! :-)

Seriously though, the world has truely gone mad. Two parents can't take their kids to the swimming pool, absolutely incredible, it's their responsibility and NO ONE elses. As I've said before H & S is a, no I'll keep quiet!

Thursday, April 13, 2006 4:42:00 pm  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Well, you all have been busy! Good for you,fighting this ridiculous rule! I hope you are able to make a difference here! Bravo!

Thursday, April 13, 2006 10:52:00 pm  
Blogger ribbiticus said...

so much for anonymity...but then again, you're standing up for what you believe in. good for you!

Friday, April 14, 2006 11:26:00 am  
Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said...

Well done in standing up for common sense.

Friday, April 14, 2006 6:52:00 pm  
Blogger kenju said...

GOOD FOR YOU! What the heck are people supposed to do? Leave one child home? Hire a "swim watcher" for the 3rd child? That is a ridiculous rule; I hope you can get it changed.

Paste sent me!

Sunday, April 16, 2006 6:22:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there we had excatly the same problem with sedgemoor splash. Myself(trained lifeguard) a friend and her friend took 2 children aged 2 and one child aged 7 to the pool and were refused entry.Having traveled 2hours to get there you can imagine how cross i was.
The 7year old was a strong swimmer along with 3 strong swimming adults! One of which used to swim in the royal navy swim team!
But they still would not let us in! All 3 children were in tears and i was told the duty manager was busy!! There were no signs to state the policy.
So i emailed the Manager to tell him what i thought of the policy and am still to recieve a reply!!!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006 10:25:00 am  

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