SWIMMERS have decided to call time on their weekly gatherings after four decades due to financial constraints.

Members of Reading Naturist Group (RNG) say they have been defeated by the 'uncaring' management of Reading Borough Council (RBC).

The group previously gathered at Arthur Hill Pool before the 105-year-old facility was closed in October 2016.

Meetings were moved to The Meadway Sports Centre in Tilehurst, but a hike in prices has seen a decline in the number of members.

Mark Young, a member of RNG, said: "The naturist swim would almost certainly have remained significantly better attended at The Meadway if the council had not disrupted the dynamic of the existing group by refusing to offer a swimming session on Thursday evening, the day the swim previously took place at Arthur Hill and instead insisting on the swim moving to Friday evening.

"This is even though many of the council's own public swimming sessions in the late evening at The Meadway seemed to have a lower attendance still than the swimming session run by RNG."

The last meeting of RNG was held on October 5 after members were originally due to meet three weeks previously.

RNG is one of many pressure groups to have been hit by the loss of Arthur Hill, but the council insisted that the cost of refurbishing the site was not viable given the council's own 'severe' budget problems.

A council spokesman added: "We are sorry to hear that RNG has had to end their weekly swim at Meadway Pool.

"The council reduced the fees for the group to help with their transition from Arthur Hill to Meadway pool and extended this discount period from six months to 15 months in the hope this would allow them time to recruit new members.

"It is disappointing the club’s financial situation means it is unable to continue. We appreciate Thursday may have been a better night for the group to meet but this would have meant cancelling popular activities enjoyed by other pool users.

"We are currently part way through a procurement process to build high-quality replacement leisure facilities and in the interim have built a 25m demountable pool at Rivermead to maintain provision."