WOMEN-ONLY swimming classes at The Pulse in Dursley may be back on the cards as Stroud District Council launches a consultation, this comes as a petition to bring them back gathers more than 3,000 signatures.

In addition, claims that the original complainant was a transgender person transitioning to become a female have been slammed as “entirely untrue” by Stroud District Council.

This comes as a petition to bring the sessions back, started by former Stratford Leisure Centre lifeguard Molly Zoglowek, from Cam, receives more than 3,374 signatures.

Molly started the petition on Wednesday and it is rapidly approaching its new goal of 5,000 signatures.

SDC has now launched a public consultation into the classes ahead of the release of a new timetable in September.

The consultation will run from Monday, August 14 to Monday, August 28, forms will be sent to members and will be available from reception for casual users to complete.

A message sent to the Gazette claimed that the original complainant was not a male but a person who was transitioning from male to female - who identifies as a women – and was refused access to the group.

It stated that the woman in question feels “vilified” after the reaction on social media and feels that she was discriminated against when she was stopped from attending the session.

The email reads: “For this women it has been a life of torment and struggle, and making this change in her life has been more than most people will ever have to go through.

“They finally get the courage to go swimming and then they are refused and told that they are not a woman.”

An SDC spokesman denied that these claims were true.

“In relation to the message sent to the Gazette, which claims to be from the originator of the complaint who states that they had been refused entry, we would like to point out that this is entirely untrue.”

Meanwhile, women-only classes may be set to return from September after SDC has reacted to the “strong” response and bemoaned the “benefit of hindsight” and not seeking legal advice.

A spokesman for SDC said: ““There has been a strong response to our decision to end the ladies only swimming sessions after we received a complaint alleging that we were breaching equalities legislation.

“With the benefit of hindsight we should have taken legal advice and more time to consider our response rather than acting so quickly.

“The new swimming timetable is due to start in September so we will be taking the next few weeks to consult with our customers directly to get their views before we decide on what to do.

“We hope that our customers will be happy that we have taken this action and apologise to them for any inconvenience caused.

“The Pulse and its staff are held in high regard by its customers and the local community and we hope that this issue will not affect that excellent relationship.”

In the original announcement, SDC claimed the women-only swimming class breached equality legislation, however members of the public quickly pointed out that in the Equality Act 2010 there is a loophole for single-six activities.

To sign the petition click here.

Molly, who started the petiton and is now a welfare officer with Activate Camps as part of the National Citizen Service, said: “It is important that women and girls have access to these regular sessions to encourage their involvement in physical activity especially for those women who are unable to participate in other session."