Soft Drinks Industry Levy: Funding for Sport in Schools — [Sir David Amess in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:58 pm on 10th January 2017.

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Photo of John McNally John McNally Scottish National Party, Falkirk 2:58 pm, 10th January 2017

Well, you never know. We are growing as we go.

I welcome the introduction of the sugar tax with open arms. I was glad that the Chancellor looked at this issue and introduced this possibility, so that today we can look at how we best use this money. It is one of the biggest changes to benefit our communities in general.

I have to declare an interest. In the first instance, my three great-nieces, Liv, Honor and Celi, were all under the scholarship and tuition of Elaine Wyllie at St Ninians Primary School. I have seen that initiative working at first hand. I have also taken on board what Maggie, MP for Erewash, said about how to put in the proper surfaces—in fact, at that time, I was quite instrumental in helping the person who was laying the surfaces—and how to reduce the number of puddles on the surface so that people can train and walk on it. That initiative has been one of the biggest successes in the whole area, so I am very grateful to Elaine Wyllie.

At the last meeting of the APPG, where I am proud to serve under Maggie Throup, Elaine Wyllie came along to explain how successful the daily mile has been, and not only in Stirling and my own area of Falkirk, where all the schools are participating. I think that Barack Obama became involved in the initiative; it has spread through the whole world. It grips the imagination. We only have to stand and watch the children going to school to see the benefits in how they act. They are eating better and looking better, and their attention to school matters is better. Everything from that initiative is a plus.

We have also had the benefit—again, through Maggie—of the drinks industry coming along to the APPG. It was interesting to hear from a vast company such as Coca-Cola what it was trying to do and the effect that the measure would have in terms of how it reformulates not only its cans of drink, but its whole way of thinking. This is not just a simple step from one thing to another; it is a huge investment that these companies have made, and we must be mindful of that.

There is another thing that Maggie has understated. I know for a fact that she got—