Free sport for kids . . . but not yet

CHRIS BISHOP Free sport for children during the school holidays is being considered by West Norfolk Council.But it might not happen in time for this summer holiday, warns a report to councillors.

CHRIS BISHOP

Free sport for children during the school holidays is being considered by West Norfolk Council.

But it might not happen in time for this summer holiday, warns a report to councillors.

The council's ruling cabinet has considered offering free admission to leisure facilities like Lynnsport and The Oasis on a trial basis.

But a report said it was too late to start a scheme for this school holiday and more work needed to be done to look at costs and effective operation of a system.

It proposed that the council look at a pilot project extend-ing the proposal to allowing free sports for under-16s.

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The scheme could be linked to the Leisure Card to enable monitoring and control of use.

John Dobson, leader of the council, said: "I think there is merit in looking at a proposal that helps young people to take part in sports activity.

"There will be a cost involved but the council is on a sound financial footing and I believe we will be able to fund this.

"The details are still to be agreed but I would like to think we can come up with a well thought out and structured scheme for young people.

"We need to take on board the ideas for other parties. I think it is too late to start a scheme from July 31 but I have asked officers to come forward with a detailed proposal as quickly as possible."

Elizabeth Nockolds, cabinet member for culture, said: "Nationally, regionally and locally there is a recognition that taking part in sport can help contribute towards issues like reducing child obesity and providing active opportunities for young people.

"I want to make sure that any policy we introduce is sustainable in the long term and delivers real benefits to the children we want to reach."

South Lynn councillor Charles Joyce, who proposed offering free sport for young-sters, said: "I put the motion to the council but the idea came from the community. I'm not happy at all. I'd prefer it to happen this year."