Kidsgrove Sports Centre

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:04 pm on 9th June 2020.

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Photo of Jonathan Gullis Jonathan Gullis Conservative, Stoke-on-Trent North 7:04 pm, 9th June 2020

My hon. Friend will know from the many conversations we have had that I am certainly a non-state-interventionist Conservative, but there are times when the Government must intervene. Kidsgrove has a dry ski slope as well, and I completely understand how important it is to protect such sporting facilities, because once they are gone, they do not come back. I am sure the people of Bracknell will be absolutely delighted to hear that my hon. Friend will champion the ice rink and ski slope. Why should they not be enfranchised to have something that they can be proud of and access in their local area, especially as summer holidays are unlikely to be going ahead as normal? That could be the only source of relaxation for people in Bracknell.

To be frank with the Minister, my constituents are frustrated. Although I remain committed to being a critical friend of the Government, I understand why my constituents are frustrated. Kidsgrove has long been neglected. Around one in 10 children aged four to five in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are obese. If that is not shocking enough, the number doubles to one in five by the time they are 11. Around two in three adults in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent have excess weight—I include myself in those figures—while one in four are obese, with rates higher than the national average. Obesity has been reported as an issue that the Prime Minister wishes to tackle head on since falling ill with the coronavirus. I know that it is also close to the heart of Jim Shannon.