The Conservative Party today launched their manifesto, Forward, Together – Our Plan for a Stronger Britain and a Prosperous Future. This is the final manifesto to be launched from the main political parties and unlike Labour and the Liberal Democrats, there is only one specific mention of sport. However, we have identified other policies that affect the sport and recreation sector more generally.
So what commitments are relevant to the sector? The Conservatives say they will:
- Continue to support school sport, delivering on the commitment to double support for sport in primary schools;
- Support a UK city in making a bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games;
- Continue to take action to reduce childhood obesity by promoting efforts to reduce unhealthy ingredients and provide clearer food information for consumers;
- Publish a green paper on young people’s mental health before the end of this year;
- Publish a comprehensive 25-Year Environment Plan;
- Maintain the existing strong protections on designated land like the Green Belt, National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty;
- Continue to ensure that public forests and woodland are kept in trust for the nation;
- Make longer term reforms to the business rates system.
Commenting on the manifesto, Leigh Thompson, Policy Manager at the Sport and Recreation Alliance said: “Overall it is disappointing to see so few references to sport and recreation in the Conservative Party manifesto. There is no recognition of the preventative role sport and recreation plays in tackling the major public health challenges we face, such as obesity and mental health problems. Similarly, the manifesto overlooks the importance of physical literacy as a key building block in children’s education and it’s a shame that there is no commitment to putting it on an equal footing with academic literacy and numeracy, which we called for in our manifesto.
“Nonetheless, it is good to see that the Conservatives have responded to two of our specific manifesto asks by committing to a doubling of support for sport in primary schools and the publication of a 25-Year Environment Plan, which we hope will support opportunities for everyone to be active outdoors.
“Ultimately, we believe that sport and recreation is at the heart of a healthy and prosperous nation and we look forward to working constructively with the next Government, whoever that may be, to make sure that sport and recreation is recognised for the wide-ranging benefits it brings.”