Memorandum submitted by the Local Government
1. The LGA was launched in April 1997 to
represent local authorities in England and Wales. As the national
voice for local communities, the LGA speaks for nearly 500 local
authorities representing over 50 million people and spending £65
billion a year on local services. Three years on, the vision of
one national body is complete with 100 per cent membership in
England and Wales. The Association exists to promote democratic
local government, delivering safe, prosperous, healthy and pleasant
2. Local councils are the major players
in delivering sports and leisure services to local communities.
In a 1997 Sport England facilities survey estimates of numbers
of visits to local authority sports and swimming facilities came
to 6.7 million over a four-week period. In addition to this local
council's wider partnership arrangements provide dual use facilities,
grant aided trusts operating facilities and services, and outdoor
facilities and sports development programmes.
3. Local Authority expenditure on sport
and recreation services in England in 1999-2000 totalled around
£1.5 billion (source: CIPFA). As a discretionary service
this investment remains threatened by year on year budget reductions
unless nationally and locally the case for sport (or cultural
services) can be promoted and proven for its value in addressing
the wider social issues of crime, health inequalities, education
social and economic regeneration. Sport and cultural services
will need to be promoted as a central feature of the local council's
developing community strategies and their approaches to modernisation.
For local authorities, the hosting of major events will need to
support corporate and local community strategies, lead to sustainable
development, help to develop strong partnerships and deliver long-term
4. As identified in last year's Policy Action
Team 10 report sport acts as a catalyst for community regeneration
and social inclusion. In terms of economic regeneration the sport
and leisure sector contribute significantly to the local and national
Value added to the UK economy in
1995 by sport related activity was estimated at £9.8 billion,
or 1.6 per cent of GDP;
Consumer expenditure on sport estimated
at £10.4 billion;
Employment in sport in the UK shows
continued growth accounting for 1.61 per cent of total employment
Euro '96 in Sheffield generated an
additional £5.8 million of expenditure.
5. These types of statistics demonstrate
that sport can be a leading player in attracting inward investment,
through the direct benefits it brings and, perhaps through the
changing culture and image it generates locally. Sport is therefore
an important component of regional development and should feature
strongly within the agendas of Regional Cultural Consortia and
Regional Development Agencies.
6. The key issues that we identified from
the conclusions and recommendations from the initial inquiry are
detailed below with our comments on developments.
7 "We recommend that the UKSC undertake
further research into the impact of staging events on sporting
participation as a matter of priority".
8. We welcomed UK Sport's series of publications
"Major Events a blueprint for success" and UK Sports
commitment to developing understanding of the impact of major
events, and to the development of an economic impact model to
assist with comparing impact studies from abroad. Continued development
of the evidence supporting the case for social and economic impact
of sporting events and its promotion to local councils will be
essential. The impact of Best Value and modernising agenda's are
likely to have some effect on local councils' strategies and role
within sports provision and hosting of events. The changing role
of local authorities in sport needs to be considered within future
9. "The central purpose of a strategy
for sports tourism should not be a single promotion campaign for
sport but the preparation of a model for securing long-term tourism
benefits through sport, including sporting events."
10. The Association welcomed BTA's launch
of the Sports Tourism department this year that targets sport
as an integral part of the British tourism promotion. The BTA
has also recently produced a Sports Tourism Advisory Pack identifying
the opportunities and key sports/tourism contacts.
11. However it was disappointing that the
economic and social aspects of sports events were not built upon
within "A Sporting Future for All" linking together
the opportunities that events can stimulate in providing modern
and sustainable community facilities and improved participation
and performance standards in sport.
12. "The commitment of local government
to staging sporting events is often crucial to their success.
Local authorities are key partners in sporting events. However
major events are not municipal, but national. The Government and
national bodies must now recognise this and take a more leading
role themselves in partnership with host local authorities."
13. Since the last inquiry the Association
has developed regular liaisons with UK Sport, in particular in
the context of developing the "Cities of Sport" award
and contributing to the Major Events Steering Group. We would
maintain that local authorities should be placed at the heart
of major event strategies, be brought into the bidding process
at the earliest possible opportunity and be given clear guidance
of what additional resources may be required, and plans for sustaining
new facilities within the community.
14. Of the listed issues the Association
feels best placed to comment on the arrangements for the Manchester
2002 Commonwealth Games.
15. The Commonwealth Games in Manchester
is without question acting as a catalyst for a massive regeneration
programme in East Manchester. Headline figures of a 1,100 hectare
area for renewal purposes, £2 billion public and private
investment over the next 15 years and an anticipated 4.5 million
visitors are impressive reading.
16. Manchester City Council are investing
some £13 million into the centrepiece stadium and the Sportcity
development will be the largest sports complex in the UK. What
is clear is that the input of the council members and officers
at an early planning stage has geared the project up for a successful
major sporting event and attracted the benefits of partnership
in the private sector.
17. All of the facilities will have a use
following the games. Manchester were quite clear that running
the Games was much more than the 10 day event, but more about
putting public investment into the area and changing the investment
climate. It is estimated that the sports and commercial development
will provide up to 5,000 jobs.
18. The lessons and messages from Manchester
2002 should be built upon within any development of the Major
Events Strategy for multi or single sports events.