I took delivery of the Walsall Advertiser yesterday evening, and in amongst the inserts that are usually destined for the re-cycling box, I noticed the latest waste of money sent out by a government department – in this case Health.
To be fair, most councils do try to run some organised activities, but the provision is patchy at best. Like most council run initiatives there does not appear to be much in the way of joined-up thinking – a bit like individual council re-cycling policies in some ways. No-one denies we all need to take a more healthy approach in our lifestyles, but what is needed like so much else in a country emerging from the centralised dictates of the Labour government, ought to be based on sensible guidance, while at the same time allowing local people and their councils to organise and implement according to their needs. Why for instance can’t school facilities be better utilised during the holidays? It works in the independent sector; I dare say there are state schools who have already implemented something similar, but where is the joined-up approach to encourage – rather than direct – others to follow suit? Surely this calls for concerted action between the departments covering education, sport and local government?
There is no reason why councils cannot subsidise swimming and other activities during school holidays, perhaps getting sponsorship from local businesses such as sportswear outlets to help defray the cost. If councils are prepared to organise single sex and specific minority group-only sessions, then more should be done to accommodate the local kids too. Allowing them to mix together in a fun activity while properly supervised, is a far more practical measure to promote tolerance and inter-community relations, than any PC inspired lectures so beloved of the socialist paradises that masquerade as Labour-run authorities.
What the last government failed to grasp and hopefully this one will, is that people respond much better and more enthusiastically to encouragement, than they do to instructions from on-high.
Politicians no longer have that sought of clout – and a good thing too!!