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- 13 February 2014 00:00
- in Government
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- Last Modified: 13 February 2014 04:05
Baroness Tanni-Grey Thompson says the All-Party Commission on Physical Activity for which she is Co-Chair must bring about real change in order to combat the growing physical inactivity epidemic across the UK.
The high-profile Commission was established in October 2013 and has now finished taking evidence.
The Commission is looking to publish their report in April this year and Paralympic icon Baroness Tanni is looking for the publication to contain only a few, vital recommendations so that it can make a real impact.
"It has been really good to see just how many people are interested in getting involved in this,” Baroness Tanni exclusively told Community Sport Network.
"I think what we are trying to do in this Commission is make sure that we are not just talking about sport and physical education because we also need to be talking about health, education and transport.
"The only sensible way of trying to tackle this physical inactivity and obesity epidemic is to join all these different sectors up together – particularly in Government – so that is what we are looking to do with this Commission.
"So far we are in a really good position with so many people submitting important evidence to us.
"But I think the hard part going to be condensing all the evidence down into a report that has only a few recommendations so that we can actually do something with it.
"What we don’t need is just another long report with loads of recommendations that simply gets buried in the House of Lords.
"We want to produce something that will make a real change because we really have to do something about this.
"We don’t want to just write a report and publish it; we have to move the physical inactivity discussion on from that.
"So the end point when the report is published - which will probably be around April - is not really the end point for me.
"It is the start point in terms of actually tacking physical inactivity.”
The six member Commission is made up of four Co-Chairs and two Commissioners.
The four Co-Chairs have led the proceedings with each representing a different sector background.
Crossbench peer Baroness Tanni represents sport, Conservative MP Charlotte Leslie represents education, Labour MP Barbara Keeley represents health and Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert represents transport.
The two Commissioners are Labour MP Gerry Sutcliffe and Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland and both have bought crucial sector expertise to the Commission while they have also support the work of the Co-Chairs.
Baroness Tanni believes that the Cross-Party make-up of the Commission will help the recommendations of the report get taken seriously.
"It is really important to have Cross-Party support,” she explained.
"Everyone is coming from a different standpoint but what we do have is everyone being passionate about physical activity and passionate about making a change with regard to physical inactivity so that really helps.
"But more importantly, in terms of convincing the different political parties to take action, that Cross-Party support is vital.
"So I am feeling very confident that our report will make an impact and bring about real change on this crucial issue.”