§ Sir Hector Monro
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he is taking to encourage greater community use of industrial sports facilities.
§ Mr. Macfarlane
I am anxious to increase opportunities for all people to participate in sport and recreation, individually or as a family or a local community. Many new facilities have been provided in recent years. Since 1979 the Government have substantially increased spending through the Sports Council and other programmes. We will maintain this commitment. But we must also seek the fullest use of existing facilities in the252W public and private sectors. There are in many areas facilities which could be opened up to the local community, to the benefit of families, housewives and young people. To this end I have had talks with the public sector industries, the police authorities and the CBI. Their response was very encouraging and I am now writing to over 100 of Britain's top employers, asking them to make available what facilities and opportunities they can to the community. An initiative of this kind needs good liaison at the local level, for which I look to voluntary and sporting organisations which will have the support and advice of the Sports Council and the regional councils for sport and recreation.