Fighting discriminatory charges for swimming on Hampstead Heath

by Kenwood Ladies' Pond Association

Fighting discriminatory charges for swimming on Hampstead Heath

by Kenwood Ladies' Pond Association
Kenwood Ladies' Pond Association
Case Owner
Kenwood Ladies' Pond Association has represented the interests of swimmers at the Kenwood Ladies' Pond on Hampstead Heath since the 1980s and currently has over 700 members.
23
days to go
£11,170
pledged of £30,000 stretch target from 347 pledges
Pledge now
Kenwood Ladies' Pond Association
Case Owner
Kenwood Ladies' Pond Association has represented the interests of swimmers at the Kenwood Ladies' Pond on Hampstead Heath since the 1980s and currently has over 700 members.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: Sept. 30, 2021

Survey on the impact of Hampstead Heath swimming charges

In January 2021 the KLPA conducted a survey of swimmers about the economic impact, so far, of the increased and enforced swimming charges on Hampstead Heath. We shared that survey widely with the oth…

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The Kenwood Ladies' Pond Association (KLPA) represents over 700 women who swim at Kenwood Ladies' Pond on Hampstead Heath, all year and in all weathers.  In March 2020 the City of London Corporation, which manages Hampstead Heath, decided to increase and enforce charges to swim in the famous bathing ponds, with the cost of tickets being increased by up to 140%. This and subsequent price rises have disproportionately affected those needing to buy concession tickets.

The Ladies' Pond (which has operated since 1925) was until recently an eclectic and inclusive community of year-round swimmers, but is now at risk of becoming an exclusive venue. Open water swimming has proven mental and physical health benefits, and should not be priced beyond the reach of less affluent people.

The KLPA and member Ann Griffin, who is registered blind, are challenging the new charges.  Swimming was entirely free of charge on this common land until 2005, similar to visiting a lifeguarded beach.  The City of London Corporation has gradually sought to monetise the bathing ponds, leading to exclusion, and culminating in a decision in March 2020 to enforce and dramatically increase charges.

We are challenging the City of London Corporation on grounds of disability discrimination.  Working with Leigh Day Solicitors we are seeking a judicial review, and we need to raise £30,000 to cover our costs and potential adverse costs.

We are seeking to address the disproportionately high increase in charges for concessionary swims compared with standard adult prices, the refusal to allow season ticket holders to pay by instalments and a complete concession for people on low income (which is offered at some times of day to those under 16 or over 60 regardless of income). We would welcome a wider review of the charging regime.

The KLPA remains willing to work with the City of London Corporation to increase income through purchase of tickets by those who can afford to pay. We offered to do this in 2020 but our suggestion was disregarded.

The City of London Corporation has denied liability.

Our case is summarised here.

Please contribute to our legal funds and help to spread the word by sharing this page.

Thank you for your support.

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Update 6

Kenwood Ladies' Pond Association

Sept. 30, 2021

Survey on the impact of Hampstead Heath swimming charges

In January 2021 the KLPA conducted a survey of swimmers about the economic impact, so far, of the increased and enforced swimming charges on Hampstead Heath. We shared that survey widely with the other swimmers' associations and beyond, receiving 600 responses.

The data gathered was helpful in providing background information for the legal case being supported by the KLPA, which alleges disability discrimination by the City of London Corporation.

That survey was conducted before the 2021 price increases were decided upon and implemented. We now need to get updated feedback from swimmers which takes these more recent increases into account.

Please find below a link to a brief survey which builds on the questions asked earlier this year. Your input is really important, and appreciated.

https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ChargesImpact2021/

This survey will run until midday on Wednesday 13 October 2021 and can be completed entirely anonymously.

Thank you for your continued support.

KENWOOD LADIES' POND ASSOCIATION

Update 5

Kenwood Ladies' Pond Association

Sept. 15, 2021

News of a Court Date

We have been informed that the case is listed for 9-10 November 2021 at the High Court.  The format for that hearing (in person, virtual or hybrid) will be notified nearer to the time, and will depend on public health advice later in the autumn.

Thank you for your continued support, this really matters.  We need to continue to fund raise in the meantime, so please forward details of this campaign to any friends, relatives or colleagues who may be interested.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/fighting-discriminatory-charges-to-swim/

Our case is focused on disability discrimination and the disproportionate increases in prices to swim for concession tickets.  This is part of a wider effort to keep  Hampstead Heath accessible, and to avoid over-regulation of a cherished open space.

Please help us to do our part to keep the Heath accessible to all Londoners. Please share this campaign and help us to raise the funds needed for our legal action.

KENWOOD LADIES' POND ASSOCIATION

Update 4

Kenwood Ladies' Pond Association

Aug. 10, 2021

Judicial Review Application Has Permission to Proceed


The Kenwood Ladies' Pond Association has been informed that the application for Judicial Review against the City of London Corporation has permission to proceed!  This is great news as it means the High Court agrees that there is a case to argue.  Until now the City of London Corporation has been dismissive of the concerns which we raised about exclusion from the bathing ponds.

In this application we claim that the new charging regime discriminates against swimmers who are disabled and there is a failure to make reasonable adjustments.  Since early 2020 the KLPA sought to work with the City of London Corporation to improve their income collection at the ponds without causing anyone to be excluded.  This constructive approach was disregarded at the time but the City could still work with the swimmers to make the bathing ponds inclusive again.

Please continue to encourage your friends, relatives and colleagues to support this cause and donate to our crowd funding page.

Press coverage of announcement that the case has permission to proceed can be seen here.

Thank you for your support

KENWOOD LADIES' POND ASSOCIATION

Update 3

Kenwood Ladies' Pond Association

June 2, 2021

Can you help us reach our overall target?

We have reached our initial target of £5,000.  This allows us to collect the pledges and move on to our target to cover potential adverse costs, which we believe could amount to £30,000.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far with donations and spreading the word.  We need to move towards our new target in the next 2 weeks.  Can you help to bring in more donations?

So far we have 144 backers, making an average donation of £36.  Most donations are in the range of £10-£50 and every one of them counts.  This shows a breadth of support from people who care about keeping swimming on Hampstead Heath accessible for all Londoners.

Could you contact two more people today?  Please use your networks such family, friends, colleagues, trade union branches, faith groups and fellow swimmers to spread our message. Every donation helps, thank you for everything you have done so far.

Update 2

Kenwood Ladies' Pond Association

May 25, 2021

Help us reach our initial target in a week.

We have nearly reached our initial target of £5000, which we need to get to for pledges to be collected and the target raised to cover our potential costs.

Please can you help us get to that initial target today? The support we have received in less than a week has been fantastic. We have received over 120 pledges and still growing. Every donation matters, as each one shows support for the cause of inclusivity at the bathing ponds.

Can you contact a friend today, or a family member, and ask that person if they would make a donation to help get us past £5000 within one week of our campaign launch?

Thank you for everything you are doing to help.


Update 1

Kenwood Ladies' Pond Association

May 21, 2021

Half way to our initial target

Thank you supporters for getting us half way to our initial £5000 target in just over 3 days. 

Can you help us get to the £5000 that we need to raise to proceed further by sharing this page people who are interested swimming, inclusivity, health & wellbeing and fairness?  This weekend could you email two friends to ask them to contribute?

The Kenwood Ladies' Pond Association, working with Leigh Day Solicitors, is seeking to launch a Judicial Review against the City of London Corporation.  The City is well resourced and well connected but together we can do this.

Let's keep the bathing ponds accessible for all Londoners and for future generations.

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