DCMS Strategy undone by politics from No10
Posted: Sat, 30 Sep 2023 16:52
This week policy and politics clashed. So sorry for the following 'rant'Last week the Task Force for the DCMS sport and physical activity strategy was launched in Downing Street. There were some lovely pics out side No10 - but insiders tell me this was little more than a photo opportunity and a chance to impress the sector with a meeting inside No10. Our first gripe this week was this continued use of 'sports stars' in government publicity. The task force is there to do a serious job, monitoring and evaluation progress against their strategy. (If you recall I am not convinced it is a strategy - more of a White Paper on what government would like to see) There don't appear to be any new resources attached to this strategy. To be fair we don't fully know the CVs of Jill Scott, Ugo Moyne or Daley Thompson but we haven't seen anything about their programme and project management skills recently. Understanding the intracies of policy and delivery of the wider sport and PA system and understanding the communities DCMS say they want to prioritise takes more than being an international sports star. Ask StreetGames and the hundreds of charities in the SFDC why they look to LTOs and LT leaders not internationals. We know this is how things operate so we live with it! We thought that was bad enough but as many friends of the Think Tank have been saying on social media this weekend any pretence by this government being interested in physical activity through active travel, 15 minute neighbourhoods, walking or cycling is blown out of the water by Sunak starting his culture war promoting the car and watering down his own net zero targets. The government will be run by Daily Mail headlines for the next year. Those of us expecting much from the DCMS strategy with Sunak in No10 will be disappointed.
That's why we love being a Think Tank. We can call it as we see it. But we are deeply disappointed. We exist to promote evidence based policy. The evdidence points to greater active travel measures. But at the same time we understand politics too. And sadly a government so far behind in the polls with a year to go before a General Election will look for desperate measures to hold on to power. So forget 13 years in power and only 2 years ago being the party responsible for the changes in the Highway Code to prioritise pedestrians and cyclists, sadly the next year will be a permanent culture war campaign against the awful government that introduced these terrible 'war on the motorist' policies!! I know it is beyond belief but this is where we are in 2023.