Sport and Recreation Alliance gives Government its annual sports appraisal

A year on from the formation of the coalition, Brigid Simmonds will give an as

Brigid Simmonds OBE, chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, will give the new Government its first ‘sports report’ at the organisation’s annual conference on 4 May.

A year on from the formation of the coalition, Brigid Simmonds will give an assessment of the Government’s performance in relation to the sector at the conference, which is entitled The Coalition Government: What future for sport and recreation? 
She believes that despite the spending cuts sport has moved up the political agenda:
“The restoration of the National Lottery to its original pillars will help to offset the cuts in exchequer funding that sport is experiencing, and that will be a much better outcome than for many other sectors.
“We feel that sport is pretty high up the agenda for this Government.  The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has already engaged with us in several areas, seeking the Alliance’s views and input where it can make a difference for its members. There seems to be a willingness to take a new look at some of the issues important to our members and that is refreshing. 
“For example, at DCMS’s request, we have compiled an extensive report on the bureaucracy facing sports clubs, which will feed into the Government’s wider review of red tape. We have also been asked to co-ordinate a submission on sport’s tax priorities for the Department. And the sports minister asked us to review our voluntary code on broadcasting, which has guaranteed £200m for grassroots sport.
Brigid Simmonds added that the Alliance’s views and opinions are being taken ever more seriously in Government under the coalition.
“Our advocacy and campaigning work has saved the sector almost £50m in the last twelve months or so. And when you think that the average club survives on an annual surplus of just £1,300, the kind of savings we have made make a big difference.  Our role is to represent the governing bodies of sport and recreation and to ensure that their voice is heard – our wins in the last year indicate that we are being very successful. 
“There is no room for complacency however.  As public funds are cut, there is always a danger that sport will be asked to pay more and we have to be on a constant lookout for unintended consequences for sport in regulation, legislation and bureaucracy.”
  • DCMS commissioned the Alliance to produce Red Card to Red Tape, a comprehensive review of the regulatory and bureaucratic burdens facing the UK’s sports clubs. It will feed into the Government’s wider review of red tape being conducted by the Cabinet Office. Further details can be found here. 
  • Minister for sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson MP, asked the Alliance to re-visit its voluntary code on sports broadcasting. The code, which previously ensured that 5% of net UK broadcasting revenues reached the grassroots of sport, now has 30% as its new benchmark.