London aquatic summer services reduced due to life guard shortage

Londoners will not be getting as much public pool time this year with the city leaning to a reduction in aquatic services due to staffing shortages.

On Tuesday afternoon the Community and Protective Services Committee voted to receive the report, which outlines the reduced hours for summer programming this year compared to pre-pandemic 2019.

“London is among the many cities experiencing a shortage of qualified staff throughout aquatic services,” the report states.

When it comes to total hours of recreational swims, staff are proposing a decrease from 2913 hours to 2564 and fit lanes offered from 1295 hours to 927.

The most significant reduction is in the learning to swim spaces, losing over 2000 hours, going from 6176 in 2019 to 4056 in 2022.

It is important to note that the numbers did not include data for the East Lions Community Centre in 2019, but it does in 2022, and data is not available for the Carling Heights Optimist Centre in 2022, but it is included in the 2019 numbers.

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The reduction in hours is also expected to strain the budget for 2022 by reducing pogroming in Day Camps, Playgrounds, and Aquatics.

Staff say they will monitor the financial impacts on the budget throughout the summer and work to continue recruiting more staff to help mitigate the reduction in services.

The report also recommends the city keep the Glen Cairn pool closed for the 2022 season due to “significant repairs” needed. In 2021 the city made several investments to keep the pool open as an outdoor activity during the pandemic with the hope the repairs would last into 2022, which the report state has not been the case.

“Given the age of the pool and existing conditions observed, the full extent of the repairs will be unknown until the restoration is underway, and it is possible that damages are greater than can be visually observed,” the report states.

The City’s outdoor public pools are scheduled to open in one month on July 1.

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