2015 General Election Manifestos: Sport pledges

All major parties have now launched their General Election manifestos.  Mark Ramsdale, Secretariat to the Parliamentary Rugby League Group, looks at what they say about sport and asks members of the Network for their thoughts on the Network’s LinkedIn page.

Click on the party name to download each party’s manifesto.

In alphabetical order:

Conservative

  • Preserve vital community assets such as sports facilities, by strengthening the Community Right to Bid.
  • Support school sport, build on Olympic and Paralympic legacy, and deliver the Rugby Union and Cricket World Cups and the World Athletics Championships.
  • Support new sports in the UK, in particular through greater links with the US National Football League, the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball, with the ultimate ambition of new franchises being based here.
  • Support primary school sport with £150 million a year, paid directly to head-teachers, until 2020, to ensure that all primary schoolchildren benefit from a minimum of two hours high-class sport and PE each week.
  • Improve the quality of Community Sports facilities, working with local authorities, the Football Association, and the Premier League to fund investment in artificial football pitches in more than 30 cities across England
  • Continue to invest in participation and physical activity, recognising sport’s vital benefits to health and to NHS England’s campaign to prevent diabetes.
  • Lift the number of women on national sports governing bodies to at least 25% by 2017, and seek to increase participation in sport by women and girls.

Green

  • Support initiatives to make the arts and sports accessible to all.
  • Set targets for participation in sports by women, ethnic minorities and disabled people in particular.
  • Make sure all children get at least a half-day equivalent of sports in school and encourage both the use of schools sports facilities by the community and participation in regional and national sporting events by young people.
  • Ban the whip from horse racing and institute a full review of the sport.
  • Ensure greater protection for racing greyhounds and initiate a formal independent review of the industry.
  • End the practice of grouse shooting and other ‘sport’ shooting.
  • Grant the right to turn sporting clubs, in particular football clubs, into community and supporter cooperatives by giving powers for season ticket holders backed by the local community to take over the running of a club.

Labour

  • Ensuring children participate in a minimum of two hours of organised sport every week at school.
  • Guarantee that supporters are a genuine part of their football club with the introduction of legislation to enable accredited supporters trusts to appoint and remove at least two of the directors of a football club and to purchase shares when the club changes hands. Fan participation in other sports will also be reviewed.
  • Ensure that the Premier League delivers on its promise to invest five per cent of its domestic and international television rights income into funding the grassroots.
  • Introduce a new national ambition to improve the uptake of physical activity. This will include new, easily understandable recommended levels of physical activity and a new national ambition to help people get more physically active.

Liberal Democrats

  • Promote evidence-based ‘social prescribing’ of sport, arts and other activity to help tackle obesity, mental health problems and other health conditions, and work to widen the evidence base.
  • Increase the amount of accessible green space.
  • Cut obesity and reduce heart problems by opening up more sports facilities and building more cycle routes.

Plaid Cymru

  • Make it easier for people to access wellbeing facilities and to get active to prevent health problems.
  • Promote sports, exercise and activity for all age groups, genders, and abilities, as a means of maintaining individual health and wellbeing, by continuing the Inspire Wales programme.
  • Make sports and fitness activities available to everyone in many different types of locations around Wales, including community centres, schools and colleges, and not just leisure centres or dedicated specialist sporting areas.
  • Look to deliver sporting participation regionally across Wales, linking between Welsh governing bodies, sports authorities, schools, sports clubs and leisure centres to ensure communities have the relevant sports and leisure facilities for their needs.
  • Design particular schemes to encourage teenage girls to take part in fitness programmes.
  • Involve elite athletes to play a role in promoting sport across Wales, visiting schools, youth clubs and summer events to inspire others to take part, including people of all abilities from all social, ethnic and economic backgrounds.
  • Look into attracting the Tour de France to Wales, for both women and men.
  • Support a Welsh international cricket team that can take part in ICC events.
  • Support the development of grassroots support in every part of Wales, promoting Welsh national leagues where sporting development allows, and supporting existing structures, such as the Welsh Premier Football League.

SNP

  • Ensure that it should be for the Scottish Government to decide which sporting events in Scotland should be included in the list of those that are free to view in Scotland.
  • Promote a more active lifestyle through sport.

UKIP

  • Abolishing government departments when their essential powers and functions can be merged into other departments. Such departments include the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
  • Creating a dedicated Minister of State for Heritage and Tourism.