Report of the Head of Corporate Strategy and Performance.
Members received a report of the Head of Corporate Strategy and Performance concerning the City of London Corporation’s Draft Sport and Physical Activity Strategy for 2020-25. The following comments were made:
· The Chairman was pleased that the Strategy had been significantly revised and strongly advocated for a working party to give oversight for this important area.
· A Member (Highgate Society) felt the Strategy was not sufficiently clear that walking is exercise and was a main reason for people visiting the Heath. It was added (Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents' Association) that this could be expanded to promote the Heath’s benefit to people’s health and wellbeing. Members were advised that the links between the Heath and physical activity were covered in the Heath vision.
· A Member (Representative of Clubs using facilities on the Heath) noted that there was new strategic planning sport guidance had been released by Sport England and recommended incorporating the recommended process as this could help to secure grant aid. Members were informed that Sport England guidance and data had already been used but the new guidance would be reviewed, and stakeholders consulted.
· It was noted that sport featured heavily throughout the Strategy which was a turn-off some people and a Member (Representative of Clubs using facilities on the Heath) recommended that the Strategy make a steer towards using physical activity as an inclusive concept.
· A Member (Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents' Association) felt that it was not clear where funding for this Strategy was coming from which was needed for prioritisation of projects in the Fundamental Review. It was recommended that the wording be changed to say Open Spaces and beyond.
· It was noted that there was no mention of the future or looking at trends and a Member (Hampstead Rugby Club) queried whether there was scope to introduce new sports, e.g. basketball, netball, that were growing in popularity over less popular sports such as bowls and croquet that were currently represented. In addition, a Member (Mansfield Conservation Area Advisory Committee & Neighbourhood Association Committee) added that an organisational approach was needed to book classes, e.g. yoga and tai chi, at the Heath. Members were advised that stakeholder views would be sought concerning diversifying activities.
· A Member (Friends of Kenwood) highlighted that there were assets outside the Square Mile with nearly all team sports taking place elsewhere.
· Members felt there was a disconnect with the Heath Vision as most people were not involved in team sports. It was agreed that individuals that visited the Heath (and other City Corporation assets) for their physical activity needed to be adequately captured. Members were informed that an equalities impact assessment would be carried out which would hopefully ensure all relevant groups were captured.
· The Director of Open Spaces stated that similar comments were received at other sites and anticipated that operational plans looking at diverse groups, new activities and non-formal sports would be addressed at a local level rather than within the full Strategy.
· It was noted that there would be further opportunity for feedback during public consultation.