Sports initiative is not a sprint

29th November 2002 at 00:00
YOU claim that ministers have neglected their pledge to improve school sport facilities (TES, November 15), but fail to establish how ministers are culpable. In the case of Space for Sports and Arts (SSA), Sport England made its decisions speedily and projects are in progress. So why is the money not yet spent?

I have worked with schools to develop projects, including a large SSA bid, and can shed some light. The initiative involves planning sustainable community access while enhancing sports and arts facilities available to children. Three factors are delaying implementation.

First, there is little time for schools to engage fully with the process. Second, the culture gap that can exist between school and council officers impedes their ability to work together. Third, the initiative brings together so many agendas - curriculum development, budgets, building schedules, community needs, sustainability - it is difficult to marry them all quickly.

Community development takes time. The process cannot be jump-started by a government anxious to fulfil hastily-made promises.

Brian Millington

Director, Greenmarque

11 Mowll Street

Stockwell, London SW9

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