Disabled swimmers in Lewes say pool managers are chipping away at their session times.

They fear their weekly swim is under threat after their time in the pool was cut to make way for a new party session for youngsters.

Lewes Leisure Centre used to give swimmers with both physical and learning disabilities the full run of its leisure facilities between 6pm and 8pm on Saturdays.

Managers have cut the disabled swimming session by 15 minutes to allow time to clear the pool for the party session, held beforehand.

The group of disabled swimmers initially agreed to the new arrangements, changing the start to 6.15pm.

However, some now fear more cuts will be made, leaving them just an hour to swim and get changed, between 7pm and 8pm.

Disabled users and carers say an hour would leave them with too little time to change and enjoy the full therapeutic benefit of the pool and the sauna facilities.

Ella Arnardottir, manager of the South Downs Housing home for adults with learning disabilities in Vale Road, Seaford, said: "When you have people with learning disabilities, they take quite a long time and need help in the changing rooms.

"If we arrive at 7pm and have to be out at 8pm, we would not get an hour in the pool. We would get half an hour if we were lucky."

She said the swimmers needed to have enough time to use the sauna after swimming to recover from the cold of the pool and relax their muscles.

She said: "An hour would certainly not be enough for a swim and a sauna.

"The session is hugely important. They get from it exercise and the freedom of the weightlessness in the water."

Leisure centre manager Fred Furner said he needed to make changes to the pool times from this month.

He said: "I met with representatives of the disabled people who use this session and they told me the option for them to have special use of the pool from 6.15pm to 8pm was entirely acceptable.

"They recognised that the centre is offering them extremely good value as they have exclusive use of practically all the facilities for two hours for a very reasonable £2.30, a price they would find hard to beat elsewhere.

"It is quite a balancing act to accommodate both our popular pool parties for kids and the dedicated session to disabled people and we have worked hard to come up with a solution that seemed to suit everyone."

He could not rule out further changes, however and added: "Anything may be an option in the whole of the pool programme. Nothing has been decided.

"What we would not be looking to do is to reduce the time they have."