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Sporting And Recreational Facilities

Volume 87: debated on Monday 18 November 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the Sports Council in Wales about the availability of sporting and recreational facilities within easy travelling distance of every community in Wales.

I discussed the development of sport in Wales generally with the chairman of the Sports Council for Wales on 30 October.

Does the Minister accept that there is a disgraceful position in the Dwyfor area? There is not one indoor swimming pool or sports centre open to the public in that district. That area has been identified by the Sports Council as the most deprived in Wales in that respect. Will he give an undertaking that when considering the capital allowances for local authorities for the coming year, sympathy will be shown to an application to remedy that weakness?

The hon. Gentleman has already written to me on this subject. The application by the Dwyfor district council for a special capital allocation to build a leisure centre at Pwllheli is still under consideration. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that his representations will be taken into account, but I must point out that we have received numerous other applications as well.

Does the hon. Gentleman not understand that, following the Bradford disaster, many small football and rugby clubs are having to spend considerable sums of money to make their grounds safe? Is it not right that the Welsh Office, perhaps through the Sports Council, should assist those clubs? Without such help, many of these clubs will be driven out of existence, with the consequences that all of us can imagine.

The right hon. Gentleman is quite right to say that clubs are being asked to undertake improvements to their grounds to make them safe. The Government do not accept that there is a case for Government assistance for this aspect of sport.

Is my hon. Friend aware of the great need for indoor tennis facilities in Cardiff city? Will his Department give every assistance towards providing these facilities, which are urgently needed in the United Kingdom generally?

I take note of what my hon. Friend has said about indoor tennis courts. I am sure that representations about this matter have also been made to the Sports Council for Wales.