Skip to main content

We provide a quarterly round-up on the organisation’s multi-sector policy influencing activity along with relevant updates from across public affairs. 

We provide a quarterly round-up on the organisation’s multi-sector policy influencing activity along with relevant updates from across public affairs. 

Parliamentary activity 

In February, we launched our ‘Routes to Roots’ low-cost or no cost manifesto asks. These included cross-departmental asks that ultimately contributed to making a place more walkable. This included asks to the following Departments: Education, Health & Social Care, Transport, Levelling up, Housing & Communities, Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and Culture, Media & Sport. We were extremely pleased when Trudy Harrison MP endorsed the full transport asks of Routes to Roots in an Adjournment in the Commons Chamber! 

Trudy Harrison MP addresses the Commons Chamber

Our influencing work continued throughout the Easter Recess period and we have been busy engaging with parliamentarians from across the House. This included a lot of behind the scenes work for our upcoming nature access campaign, following on from the work we are supporting through Outdoors for All and Nature 2030. We will be working with partners to ask the government to reap the benefits of nature access with cross-departmental gain, we continue to meet with parliamentarians to garner support ahead of a Summer launch!

Activity quickened at the end of April, we attended the APPG for Cycling & Walking Parliamentary Active Travel Showcase, where we engaged with MPs and partners from across the active travel sector. Our Director Katherine Knight was able to catch up with the ever-supportive Kim Leadbeater MP, who has recently been appointed to the Shadow Department of Health and Social Care team. Also present was the Minister responsible for active travel in the Department for Transport, Guy Opperman MP, representatives from Active Travel England and our friends at Bikeability Trust.

 

Katherine with Guy Opperman MP

Katherine also attended a meeting for the All-party parliamentary group on Fit and Healthy Childhood and raised a discussion about play sufficiency and the importance of laying the foundations for active healthy life. She discussed the fact that children’s ability to roam has reduced significantly. Enabling children to play out lays the foundation for formal sport and lifelong physical activity and is free and equally accessible. This we believe, is something that has been lost over generations and we should be striving to recoup. 

Events

In February, it was a busy few weeks in Scotland for Beat the Street launches, including in South Ayrshire where the launch event was attended by local politicians. In attendance was Dr Phillipa Whitford the Scottish National Party MP for Central Ayrshire and Members of the Scottish Parliament Sharon Dowey (Conservative & Unionist Party) and Minister for Victims and Community Safety, Siobhain Brown (Scottish National Party). The event which was organised by our Scottish dream team Craig and Margaret Dalziel, provided us with further opportunity to engage with policymakers whilst demonstrating the community power of Beat the Street!

William and Katherine at the OFA launch

On 6 March, we were pleased to support the #OutdoorsForAll launch in parliament, a coalition of over 40 organisations calling for greater, safer and more equitable access to our green and blue spaces and being led by Paddle UK. Campaign priorities focus on a need for new legislation to deliver the government’s commitment to ensure everyone lives within a 15-minute walk of an accessible green or blue space. We continue to support the campaign and its ongoing aims as one of the coalition organisations.

Sport England’s Health team plays BTS Hammersmith & Fulham

In April, we were delighted that Sport England’s Health Policy team were able to join us to play BTS Hammersmith and Fulham. We hosted a guided walk, getting in our steps and fending off some rather grey weather. Towards the end of our journey, we met with community players at Our Lady of Fatima Church in White City, who shared their positive experiences of the game and brought the intervention to life, evidencing that it’s not just school children who benefit from Beat the Street!

Consultation responses

We have submitted evidence to the Food, Diet and Obesity Committee in the House of Lords in the named inquiry on the same topic. The Food, Diet and Obesity Committee called for written evidence into the role of foods, such as ‘ultra-processed foods’, and foods high in fat, salt and sugar, in a healthy diet and tackling obesity. Our response included evidence on obesity, high levels of inactivity, and the health consequences of these lifestyles. The submission called for a concerted cross-government effort to tackle inactivity and obesity and a change in dietary guidelines to reflect sufficient evidence on ultra processed food.

You can read our written evidence submission in full here.

If you would like to input any of the subject matters in any future evidence submissions or to collaborate on a joint response, please contact us via email.

We will continue to provide relevant political updates throughout the year, if you have not done so already, please sign up to our Partner Newsletter to receive quarterly policy round-ups directly to your inbox.