November policy update

Policy type: 
UK
Publish date: 
Fri, 30/11/2012

1. PARLIAMENT

1.1 Nominees announced for Sports Parliamentarian of the Year Award 2012

The nominees for this year’s Sports Parliamentarian of the Year have been announced. The award, won by John Woodcock last year, is an opportunity to recognise those MPs and peers who have worked tirelessly to support and promote sport and recreation.

The list consists of eleven MPs and peers drawn from all three major political parties, with the overall winner to be decided by an awarding panel and announced at a House of Commons dinner on 4 December.

The awards will be judged by Alliance vice-president Brigid Simmonds OBE, TUC General Secretary and avid sports fan Brendan Barber, Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew MBE, sports broadcaster Jacqui Oatley and Alliance chief executive Tim Lamb.

For more information contact Simon Butler.

2. OLYMPIC LEGACY

2.1 APPG for Sport: An Olympic sporting legacy

On 28 November Lord Moynihan addressed the All Party Parliamentary Group for Sport on the sporting legacy achieved from London 2012.

Lord Moynihan discussed the changes to elite sport that had led to the record medal haul at the Games, and highlighted the UK’s strength in hosting major sporting events. He called for a committed approach to delivering a long-term legacy for participation, arguing that schools should be at the centre of plans to get more people active.

For more information on the All Party Parliamentary Group for Sport contact Simon Butler.

2.2 House of Lords debate the long-term Olympic legacy

On 8 November members of the House of Lords debated the long-term legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Notable contributions were made by Baroness Grey-Thompson, Lord Moynihan, Baroness Massey and also Lord Deighton – who made his first speech since leaving LOCOG and joining his colleague Seb Coe in Parliament’s upper house.

A blog of the debate can be read on the Alliance’s website, and the transcript is available from the Parliament website.

For more information about the Alliance’s work in parliament contact Simon Butler.

3. CONSULTATIONS

3.1 Government consults on new school EBacc

The Department for Education is proposing to transform qualifications at Key Stage 4 by introducing a new English Baccalaureate for the core subjects of English, science, maths, languages and humanities.

The proposals are currently subject to consultation, closing on 10 December.

The Alliance’s view
The Alliance will respond by calling for PE, including movement and dance, to play a central role in the curriculum and will highlight the risk of these subjects becoming side-lined if they are excluded from the new Ebacc qualification.

The Alliance will also highlight the worrying decline in the number of teenagers studying PE at age 16 and beyond.

Over the last four years, the number of pupils taking the subject at GCSE level has dropped by a third.

Last year, more students chose religious studies, geography and art than PE.

More information about the consultation can be found on the Department for Education website.

For more information about the Alliance’s position contact Simon Butler.

3.2 Government consults on opening roads to sports events

The Department for Transport will consult in spring 2012 on various policy measures to allow motor racing on public roads.

The intention is to give local authorities the power to close public roads for events that are currently illegal under the Road Traffic Act.

The Alliance’s view
The Alliance believes that giving local authorities greater powers to host sporting events is a good thing, and has been working with the department and canvassing the views of members to feed back to the consultation.

Members have also recommended that any new powers be applicable to all events that use the road including motorsports, running, cycling and equestrian activities.

For more information contact Martin Key.

4. EUROPE

4.1 EU publishes study on sport’s contribution to economic growth

The European Commission has published a study detailing the contribution of sport to economic growth and employment in Europe. It shows that sport accounts for 1.76% of European Union (EU) gross added value, rising to 2.98% when indirect and induced effects are also considered.

Furthermore, the share of sport-related employment directly accounts for 2.12% of total EU employment, which increases to 3.51% and nearly 7.4 million people when indirect effects are added.

The Alliance’s view
Interestingly, the study shows that as an economic sector in Europe, sport is equal to that of agriculture, forestry and fishing combined and this is only expected to rise in the future.

At a time when governments are focused on stimulating growth and employment, this is valuable information that the sports movement in the UK and Europe should use to highlight the important economic role sport has.

For further information on European policy issues or to sign up to the EU news summary contact David Foster.

5. OUTDOORS

5.1 New ash disease guidance released

The Forestry Commission has released new guidance in an attempt to contain the Chalara Ash Dieback currently threatening Britain’s forests.

The first cases of the disease were found in February, when samplings imported from Europe were found to be contaminated with the fungus. This was followed by infection in established woods in the south east and has now spread further across Britain.

The Alliance’s view
The Sport and Recreation Alliance has been reassured that the outbreak will not affect public access to forests and woodlands. The fungus is not dangerous to humans or animals and the chance of visitors spreading the disease is very small.

However the Alliance asks all of its members who carry out sport or physical activity in any woodlands affected by the disease to help prevent its spread by following some simple precautions.

For guidance visit the Forestry Commission’s website.

To find out more about Chalara Ash Dieback in relation to outdoor recreation contact Martin Key.
 

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