The Vale of Glamorgan Council has published a Leisure Strategy in an effort to promote healthy living throughout the County.
Leisure services within the Vale have previously been singled out as examples of good practice by the Wales Audit Office, but it was suggested drawing up a detailed strategy could help the Authority further excel in this area.
The strategy aims to:
- Create better quality leisure facilities across the Vale.
- Increase the number of people being physically active each day.
- Help people feel healthier.
- Ensure leisure facilities are used more often and benefit more people.
This comes after a major programme of work to upgrade leisure centres. Significant savings have also been made to their operating costs alongside an improvement in the quality of service delivered.
The Vale has been recognised as one of the top three performers in Wales for sports participation, while the Council has also helped redevelop Jenner Park and create new five-a-side facilities at Colcot Sport Centre.
There are seven Council maintained Green Flag parks in the County, the mark of a top-quality outdoor space. That is the second highest number in Wales and greatest per head of population.
Blue flags also fly at two beaches in the Vale, highlighting water quality.
Over £1 million has been invested in children’s play areas since 2015 and 15,000 people – 10 per cent of the population – have been enlisted onto the Vale’s Exercise Referral Scheme. This initiative aims to increase physical activity among those with medical conditions that benefit from such exertion.
Cllr Gordon Kemp, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet member for Social Care, Health and Leisure, said: “As a Council, we are committed to creating a fitter and healthier population. Leisure and health are strongly linked and only by developing these links further can we begin to address growing levels of obesity and diabetes, mental health issues and other conditions associated with inactivity
“I am extremely proud of our leisure facilities and services and the difference our services make on a daily basis. I am proud of what we have achieved and the way we work with our partners to provide a diverse range of services across our local communities.
“This Leisure Strategy sets out a clear vision for the future of our leisure services so that the available resources are applied effectively and equitably across the Vale of Glamorgan. This Leisure Strategy provides a number of clear objectives that are intended to improve the lifestyles of our population and to ensure that across the Vale we have ‘strong communities with a bright future.”