Opposition Day — [11th Allotted Day — Second Part]
Andy Burnham (Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media & Sport; Leigh, Labour)
The hon. Gentleman has again displayed a fundamental misunderstanding of what we seek to achieve through the free swimming scheme. As my hon. Friend Lyn Brown said, it began in local government. Councils were doing this themselves using funds at a local level, from primary care trust and council funds. We have put in place a national fund to help an initiative that began in local government. The logic of the system now in place for local government means that councils can set their own priorities. Eighty councils have selected the sports participation indicator as a priority. This is entirely in keeping with the system of priority setting in local government, at local level. The hon. Gentleman seems repeatedly to fail to understand that point.