Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Chair of the LGA’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, responds to the NICE draft quality standard for encouraging physical activity.
“Councils have a long history of providing leisure facilities for communities, but over time this has developed into a role championing the importance of physical activity outside of the gym or swimming pool.
“This is why we are encouraging the Government to consider the impact further spending reductions would have on councils’ abilities to provide these valued, high-quality services, such as parks and green spaces. The recent announcement of further reductions to the public health grant will also undermine local authorities’ ability to improve the public’s health and keep the pressure off the NHS and social care.
“Planning strategies now include measures to increase cycling and walking routes and introduce sustainable green spaces in new developments. Local authorities are also doing everything they can to ensure that people have access to affordable, nutritious food, including supporting weight management and healthy eating programmes.”
The LGA and Sport England run regular leadership sessions for councillors wishing to understand the role that sport and physical activity can play in helping address health improvement and health inequality within communities; and to lead the transformation required in the provision, management and development of sport and physical activity services within councils.