HL Deb 08 March 1984 vol 449 c366

3.25 p.m.

Baroness Macleod of Borve

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper.

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in persuading public and private owners of recreational facilities to share them with those in need.

Lord Skelmersdale

My Lords, the Government are anxious to ensure that all sports facilities in both the public and private sectors are more widely used. To this end we have approached the chairmen of all the nationalised industries, chief constables, chief fire officers and over 100 top private sector employers. The response has been very encouraging and we are now taking the initiative forward at the local level. At the same time my honourable friend the Minister for Sport has been considering ways in which shared use of school and other community facilities can be extended.

Baroness Macleod of Borve

My Lords, may I thank my noble friend the Minister most sincerely for that encouraging and helpful reply? I know that the Minister in another place has been actively engaged on this subject since last July. I am very pleased, as I am sure is the whole House, to hear that there has been such an encouraging response.

Lord Skelmersdale

My Lords, I am most grateful to my noble friend. She is quite right: my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary is extremely active in these matters.

Lord Hunt

My Lords, does the Minister recall that recommendations in the sense of the noble Baroness's Question have been the subject of many reports over many years, at least as far back as the report of the noble Countess, Lady Albemarle, in 1970? Does he agree that over the past 15 years or so the need has grown very greatly? I feel sure that I am not alone in joining the noble Baroness in expressing great pleasure at what the Minister has said.

Lord Skelmersdale

My Lords, again I am most grateful to the noble Lord. We are slowly winning through, but it is a slow process of encouragement. I think that this is the right way to pursue this activity.

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