Fourteen swimming teachers employed by Huntingdonshire District Council have quit since April, the authority has confirmed.

Concerns have been raised about the number of people leaving their jobs and its impact on the amount of youngsters learning to swim.

Steve Sibbald, from St Ives, a fellow of the Institute of Swimming Teachers and Coaches, condemned HDC for cutting teachers' pay by 20 per cent.

He said the cut in wages had led to resignations as staff felt de-valued and de-moralised.

Answering a series of questions put to HDC by The Hunts Post, a spokesman admitted their swimming teachers' salaries had been reduced as part of an authority-wide pay review, but would not say by how much.

“All staff at the council were subject to a pay review including the role of swimming instructor, to ensure a fairer pay system across the whole authority,” the spokesman said.

“A local benchmarking exercise was also completed to compare swimming instructor payments with other local authorities and providers.

“As a result of the review, the swimming instructor post was moved onto our new grading structure at a lower salary than previously offered.”

She added: “Across all five of its One Leisure sites, a total of 14 swimming teachers have resigned for a number of reasons, but by using existing teachers, and undertaking training, this has had minimal impact on provision of lessons.

“These are variable hours roles and the number of instructors working for us at any time continually fluctuates.”

Despite the cut in teachers' salaries, the spokesman said HDC took the importance of teaching children to swim very seriously.

It has more than 2,000 children enrolled on its Swim4Life scheme, which offers lessons to youngsters aged six months and older at all its One Leisure centres.