Friday, 27 June 2014

Leisure for all?

K2 in Crawley, something similar for Arun?.
When I was 11 years old, I lived in a Council house in a new town with my mother and my brother and I suppose we would be classed as a single parent family.  I used to visit my local sports centre and I took up boxing which prepared me on two levels, firstly I had more confidence to take on bully’s (giving the odd one a bloody nose), also it helped to build my character and gave me a greater insight to who I was, in other words sport really helped me develop as a rounded individual and useful member of society.
The reason I mention it is that on the 30th of June the Arun Tourism & Infrastructure working party will meet to decide on an alternative to the existing Littlehampton Sports & Swimming Centre.  The old centre is 32 years old and is showing its age and is increasingly becoming quite expensive to run.  The existing site is not in an ideal location as it does not have good transport links.
Consultants were employed to do a study on whether to replace the existing centre and if so, the best place for that centre. They have come up with a recommendation to move it to a site which is adjacent the new road that will link with the Lyminster bypass and where it crosses the A259 just between the two body shop roundabouts.   This is at the centre of where people live in Littlehampton and would be at the crossroads of north to south and east to west of bus services (a short bus ride from Arundel). 
Children like my 11 year self cannot currently easily get to the existing centre, and if we can get a building that’s bigger, better, cheaper to run and more central it would be closer to the areas where the people who really need it would benefit the most.
Birmingham city Council had an experiment a number of years ago where they gave free off peak gym membership to some adults and children, it cut obesity and did so well that the NHS decided to help fund the initiative because it helped to re-educate people to have a healthier life style which then helped cut admissions to hospital.   You could call this the nanny state, but I don’t think so, as it takes a lot of work to get fit and you really need to want to do it to succeed, but surly we as a society should give children the where for all and opportunity to do so?

Until next month, Paul Dendle is the Arundel ward member and now the Cabinet member for Leisure and Amenities, web site www.pauldendle.org & email is Pauldendle@aol.com

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