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Council bid to raise swimming fees in Newry by 2,770% scuppered

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Payday loan firms should publish details of their products on comparison websites, the Competition and Markets Authority has said

Payday loan firms should publish details of their products on comparison websites, the Competition and Markets Authority has said

Payday loan firms should publish details of their products on comparison websites, the Competition and Markets Authority has said

A super council's plans to increase annual swimming fees in the Newry area by 2,770% have been sunk.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council assumes power on April 1 and opens its new pool the same month.

Councillors had voted to raise the charges from £5.75 to £165 for children with disabilities.

Pools in Downpatrick and Kilkeel would also have been affected.

For adults, the annual charge would have gone up from £11.45 to £165 too - a 1,840% rise.

But those plans were torpedoed after a massive public outcry, and 60 people protested outside the council offices on Tuesday night.

Inside, the councillors took the plunge and did a U-turn.

Cara McShane, who has two children with special needs, told the BBC she would have faced an annual bill of more than £300, instead of less than £12.

"We need special aids for their therapy, so if the new costs had to be put on top of that we would probably have no option but to go less frequently," she said.

Belfast Telegraph