‘WHAT A SH*T SHOW!’ We held a mini-demo on Sunday October 11th at Hampstead Ladies Pond to protest City of London Corporation’s ‘gross negligence’ over sewage contamination.
In March 2020, the City of London Corporation forced through compulsory swimming charges for the first time in the history of Hampstead Heath, defying the Consultative Committee and Swimming Associations, claiming increased costs due to improved ‘safety’ as a primary justification.
For most of the last three weeks, the Ladies Pond was closed due to two separate contamination events from sewage incurring dangerous levels of E.Coli. The Corporation has admitted it has not been carrying out the requisite regular water safety testing over the summer despite imposing the new enforced entry payment.
Tom F. of Forum ‘71 said: “City’s claims to be motivated by ‘safety’ are disingenuous, in fact their myopic crusade to monetise their assets is endangering Londoners. Their singular concern for revenue-extraction over community welfare at the Ponds has now resulted in dangerous sewage and E.Coli contamination, it’s gross negligence, literally. Meanwhile they ignore the hundreds of swimmers expressing urgent concern for their mental health due to the radical new compulsory charging policy in our recent survey.”
“City’s own survey confirms mental health is the top reason people swim at the Ponds, making their radical commercialisation this pandemic year all the more indefensible. We implore City to stop their heartless war on swimmers, drop the undemocratic compulsory charges and collaborate with the community for a humane and sustainable way forward.”
Ann G., a Ladies’ Pond regular, said:
“Avoidable continued contamination of our pond with monstrously high levels of E.Coli heaps insult on to injury when The City have already decimated our community by turning an inclusive, diverse and safe women-only space into yet another expensive spa ‘facility’ excluding many already disadvantaged bathers.”