The coalition government has announced a reduction of 28% in its grant to local government over the next 4 years. This will inevitably lead to pressure on sports, leisure and cultural services all of which are discretionary rather than statutory. To some extent the paid attractions such as swimming pools and ice rinks can make the shortfall through higher prices but the free services such as libraries and parks are going to be hard hit.
The biggest loser, however, would appear to be school sport with the dismantling on the School Sports Co-ordinator Network from 2011 and the removal of the ring fenced grant to specialist sports colleges. The five hour offer has disappeared and we are back to the old ad hoc arrangements between schools, clubs and local leisure facilities.
The Secretary of State, Michael Gove announced this in a letter to Sue Campbell at the Youth Sport Trust. He also included a commitment to a long term Olympic legacy. To which the only possible answer is “Yeah – right”
More on this from the Leisure Review at http://www.theleisurereview.co.uk/articles10/goveletter.html