Open water swimming ban to be strengthened at Ashby Ville

Community Advice and Support
16:13, Friday, 7th July 2023

Residents will be asked to back an outright ban on open-water swimming at the Ashby Ville Nature Reserve.

A proposal to ban all open-water swimming across the area met with opposition from residents – while bans on town centre cycling, street drinking and begging did get public support.

Cllr Rob Waltham, the leader of North Lincolnshire Council leader, said: “We looked to strengthen the powers available to stop people swimming in dangerous open water courses.

“In the last round of consultation regarding the PSPO it was clear that there was not support for a blanket ban on open water swimming.”

At present, people swimming or paddling in open water can be fined, but only if they fail to leave when asked to do so.

Proposals for stronger measures to fine people without warning, with exceptions for open-water swimming clubs, or where a landowner had given permission, were opposed by respondents through a consultation.

Cllr Waltham added: “Despite lots of work in particular places this continues, despite the clear dangers. People have died, yet we still have to try and stop people swimming.

“We have listened to residents so we will now look to target the provisions to specific sites. The first on that list is Ashby Ville.”

Cllr Judith Matthews, ward member for Ashby Lakeside, said: “Water safety across the whole of North Lincolnshire is incredibly important, but we know the challenges are particularly acute at Ashby Ville – it is a disused quarry, it is very deep in parts, has very steep drop-off points, the cutting is not safe, and there is even a car at the bottom of the water.

“We want to make sure everything that can be done to make this area safe is done. Using the powers available through a PSPO, targeted to this area, will really help. We want the area to be enjoyed by everyone safely.”