William Eichler 18 October 2019

Council chiefs call for investment into leisure facilities

Council chiefs call for investment into leisure facilities image

Local authority leaders have voiced concerns over the ability of councils to continue to provide leisure centres, which contribute to public health, without more Government investment.

The Local Government Association’s (LGA) warning comes in response to new data that shows one million more people have become physically active since 2015.

The data, gathered by Sport England from 180,000 respondents between May 2018 and May 2019, revealed that 1,015,700 more people have become more active over the last four years.

That takes the total number of active people – those doing at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week – up to 28.6 million.

Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England’s chief executive, described the increase as ‘really excellent news’.

However, Mr Hollingsworth also warned that the sports organisation’s research found that inequality impacted people’s ability to access leisure services.

‘Within the overall positive picture of these figures is a sobering reality – if you are well-off you are far more likely to be active than if you’re on a low income or less affluent,’ he said.

‘While there are complex barriers that stop less well-off people from getting active, this is an unacceptable inequality and one we’re starting to address in the work we are doing across the country – including piloting programmes in 12 local areas to tackle inequality.’

Responding to Sport England’s findings, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, chair of the Local Government Association’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, emphasised that it was important to ensure councils are able to provide facilities to residents.

‘It is important that we also ensure our core leisure offer is maintained for all residents who want to increase their activity levels,’ he said.

‘Many of the facilities run by councils are ageing, particularly swimming pools, and could be updated to better meet the needs of communities and be more energy efficient and cost-effective to run.

‘It is therefore important that the Government looks to provide more funding for council-run facilities, in the same way that they have recently made important investments in cultural infrastructure, to ensure that councils can continue to provide excellent facilities and services for their residents.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior Social Worker - LD & Autism

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum
Senior Social Worker / Senior Occupational Therapist/ Senior Practitioner With us, you can achieve more - for yourself as well as those you work to s England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Assessment and Intervention

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum + + Free On-Site Parking & Benefits Package
Social Worker - Assessment and InterventionPermanentFull Time£30,906 to £42,254 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Children with Disabilities

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Social Worker - Children with DisabilitiesPermanent, Full Time£30,906 to £42,254 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Duty Manager (South Woodham Ferrers Leisure Centre)

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 5 - Starting at £22,944 per annum, rising to £25,284
South Woodham Ferrers Leisure Centre is one of Chelmsford City Council's excellent leisure facilities which offers a variety of sporting activities... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Assistant Director - Inclusion

Suffolk County Council
£75,745 - £93,245 pa
We are seeking a highly skilled Assistant Director Ipswich, Suffolk
Recuriter: Suffolk County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue