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Sport And Leisure

Volume 130: debated on Wednesday 30 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will list, by local authority area, the numbers of schoolchildren taught to swim by amateur swimming clubs in each year since 1979;(2) if he will list by name the number of publicly owned sport and leisure facilities within each local authority area;(3) what information he has on the percentage of publicly owned swimming pools which are open for use between 6 and 8 am

(a) on weekdays and (b) at weekends;

(4) what information he has on the average charges to swimmers using publicly owned sports facilities;

(5) if he will list those local authorities which have taken positive steps to encourage the use of publicly owned sport and leisure facilities by Olympic swimmers and athletes;

(6) if he will list those local authorities who operate concessionary charging policies, in respect of publicly owned sport and leisure facilities, for (a) the disabled, (b) schoolchildren, (c) the unemployed and (d) pensioners;

(7) what information he has as to any sport and leisure facilities, formerly under private ownership, that are now controlled by local authorities and as to the reasons for the change of responsibility in each case.

The information requested is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the training facilities available to swimmers and athletes (a) of Olympic standard and (b) of national competition standard, in the light of the responses he has received to the consultation exercise on competition in the management of local authority sports and leisure facilities.

No such information came to light in the process of the consultation exercise. However, I understand that there are a substantial number of facilities countrywide at which swimmers and athletes of all abilities can train.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will name, and list by local authority area, those publicly owned sport and leisure facilities currently under private management.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to make an announcement about the future management of publicly owned sports and leisure facilities.

We have received more than 350 responses to the consultation paper which set out our proposal to bring compulsory competition to the management of local authority sport and leisure facilities. These are now receiving careful consideration. I expect to be able to make an announcement about our decisions before the summer recess.As my hon. Friend's answer today to my hon. Friend the Member for Harrogate (Mr. Banks) said, if we decide to go ahead with compulsory competition for the management of sport and leisure facilities, implementation will be delayed beyond the 1 August 1989 date applicable to the other activities in the Local Government Act.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish the responses he has received from amateur sporting bodies in respect of the consultation exercise on competition in the management of local authority sports and leisure facilities.

We have written to all the respondents to the consultation exercise seeking their agreement to publish their replies. When we have confirmation that they have no objections we shall place copies of their responses in the House Library.