I was shocked but sadly not surprised at the findings of an All-Party Commission on physical activity whose first report this week showed that a lack of exercise results in an estimated 37,000 premature deaths in the UK every year.
Encouraging healthy and active lifestyles is a real priority for Central Bedfordshire Council and I’m glad to say that the leisure strategy that we’re developing for our area is really taking shape.
Over the next two years we’re investing £20m in our leisure centres to encourage residents to keep fit and well. Much of this will be spent on providing new and improved facilities in the north and east of our area including a new £12.5m leisure centre in Flitwick and a new athletics track at Sandy Sports Centre.
We want to encourage people to take more healthy and active transport choices too – walking or cycling rather than taking the car for short journeys. Through our local transport plans we’re investing in creating more cycle routes and improving things for pedestrians.
Partnerships with football facilities, community centres, schools and clubs are also important in giving everyone the widest possible range of opportunities to get active in a way that suits them.
The strength of those partnerships is really evident during school holidays. On top of the many activities in our leisure centres this Easter there are a host of holiday play schemes and other activities.
Easter is certainly a time when I enjoy spending lots of time outdoors with my family and with so much wonderful countryside and country parks on our doorstep you don’t have to go far to enjoy a fun and active break.
For more details go to our website www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/easter