Apsana Begum MP: 'We must address health inequalities'

Will it ever reopen? St George's leisure centre in The Highway. Picture: Google

Will it ever reopen? St George's leisure centre in The Highway. Picture: Google - Credit: Google

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve all experienced what life is like without access to our community spaces - whether this has been places of worship, libraries or leisure centres.

I’m deeply concerned, therefore, by the potential closure of St George’s Leisure Centre and have tabled an Early Day Motion (232) in Parliament. Around a third of local authority-owned leisure centres in England are facing closure.

The British Medical Association found that in 2016/17, 34 per cent of adults from the most deprived areas of England are inactive, compared to the national average 23pc.

Labour Party's Apsana Begum

MP Apsana Begum is fighting to save St George's Leisure Centre - Credit: PA Images

The privatisation of leisure facilities has long led to the prioritisation of profit over the value they bring to communities.

Yet, access to local swimming facilities can dramatically improve both physical health and mental wellbeing.

As we build a future beyond Covid, we must address health inequalities rather than entrench them further and access to local leisure centres is therefore vital.