Alliance Welcomes Appointment of Tanni Grey-Thompson to the LGA

The news that Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson will be officially elected as president of the Local Government Association (LGA) this summer is fantastic news for public sport and leisure facilities.

Chair of ukactive since 2015, Baroness Grey-Thompson has long campaigned for the need to turn the tide of inactivity and implicitly understands the vital role the

Chris McAndrew / UK Parliament, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

public sports and leisure facilities play in transforming the nation’s health. Throughout the pandemic, the life peer has urged MPs to keep gyms and leisure facilities open to support the public’s physical and mental wellbeing.

Following the Queen’s Speech this week, which set out the government’s ambition to “deliver a national recovery from the pandemic that makes the UK stronger, healthier and more prosperous than before”, she has written to Boris Johnson calling for greater support to prevent communities across the UK losing thousands of gyms and leisure centres.

With so many public leisure facilities in jeopardy after months of closure and recent figures from the LGA showing that almost two thirds of leisure centres require urgent investment to bring them up to modern standards, it’s imperative that we invest intelligently in our public leisure stock to ensure they are relevant for today’s users.

As we emerge from this crisis and seek to build better, stronger and healthier communities, we have a unique window of opportunity to assess the quality of public-owned leisure facilities and redevelop, redesign and repurpose our centres so they can play their part in supporting healthy and active communities. And with Baroness Grey-Thompson at the helm of the LGA, we have every chance of making this happen.