Councillor raises concerns after autistic boy is refused swimming pool access

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The Head of Leisure and Community Development at Derry City and Strabane District Council, Barry O’Hagan, has promised council officers will engage with an unhappy grandparent whose autistic grandson was refused access to the Foyle Arena swimming pool.

SDLP Councillor Tina Gardiner raised the matter at the local authority’s May Health and Community Committee meeting.

She said she had been approached by a constituent who had gone to the state-of-the-art sports complex in the Waterside but was told her grandson couldn’t be accommodated despite the pool having capacity.

“The pool wasn’t full but there was a point blank refusal,” Colr. Gardiner told the committee.

“Is there any flexibility?” she asked.

Mr. O’Hagan replied that the council is bound by strict health and safety regulations, which must be complied with, but suggested officers would be happy to meet with the concerned grandparent to discuss the issue.