Latest Public Sector News

06.10.14

Obesity and leisure services

Source: Chris Payne, Leisure Services Manager

 It is important that government realise that the swingeing local government cuts are dramatically affecting leisure service provision. Leisure services are at the forefront locally in the fight against obesity and other physical-inactivity related conditions.

Many local authorities are running GP referral schemes, physical activity programmes and opportunities, and promoting healthy lifestyles.

One key way government could assist leisure services to continue and expand these programmes would be to waive business rates. The business rates issue is forcing many authorities to transfer their leisure services to charitable trusts, which actually does not save the public purse anything. However it does cost local authorities several hundreds of thousands of pounds to set up, which is a cost to the public purse.

I see this as a painless option for government to help address these physical inactivity issues.

Chris Payne, Leisure Services Manager, Pembrokeshire County Council 

Re: Council spending on obesity up 21% – LGA

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