SOME Pembrokeshire parents are out of pocket due to a decision by Pembrokeshire Leisure not to unfreeze junior memberships post lockdown.

Junior memberships covered the cost of swimming lessons, swimming sessions and other children's activities.

Parents could also buy a £10 a month bolt on to the membership which allowed their children to access one climbing session a week.

Adult memberships are now available, however junior memberships remain frozen.

A spokesperson for Pembrokeshire County Council said that the authority made made the decision when leisure centres re-opened in May not to re-start junior membership 'as it wouldn't provide value for money for junior members and their families'.

"This was because the programme that we could offer at that time (and potentially in the medium term) was limited as a result of Covid restrictions and staffing numbers," added the spokesperson.

However, some parents are feeling the pinch. If a child has a swimming lesson, attends a weekly open swimming session and a weekly supervised session at the climbing wall at Haverfordwest Leisure Centre, this costs parents £16.40 a week, so just over £65.60 a month.

Pre lockdown these activities were all included in the junior membership, plus the climbing bolt on. Junior membership cost £18 and the climbing bolt on £10, meaning before junior memberships were frozen, parents would pay £28 a month, less than half of what they are currently paying for the same offer.

Even if a child just has swimming lessons, at £22 a month, it would still be better value to take out junior membership.

The county council spokesperson said that the authority planned to reinstate junior membership in September.

"We are currently reviewing our programme and adding other elements as we move forward," they said.

"It is worth noting that our junior membership is not specifically for swimming lessons - this is just an element of what is included within it.

"We also find that normally those who get the most benefit from the membership from swimming lessons alone are those in Waves 4 and above as the lessons are normally 40 minutes in length.

"Due to the restrictions and our need to ensure user safety through cleaning and safe access and egress from our facilities we've standardised our lessons to 30 mins each regardless of which group the child is in."