Local authorities have historically been the major investors in sporting infrastructure in England. This activity has been promulgated on the basis of perceived allocational imperfections in market mechanisms (Bramham and Henry, 1985; Gratton and Taylor, 1985). However, it has been argued that major policy initiatives, such as Sport for All (McIntosh and Charlton, 1985), have had a focus well beyond facility provision (Ravenscroft, 1991). In part as a recognition of this overly narrow agenda, there has been an increasing divergence in local authorities, between policy generation and actual delivery (Ravenscroft, 1998). Under this new structural arrangement (Glover and Burton, 1998; Ravenscroft, 1998), local authorities have increasingly become enablers (Henry, 2001), while a mix of direct labour organisations, trusts and commercial companies have assumed the delivery role.
However, particularly in the case of the commercial operators, it is questionable whether this any more constitutes ‘local delivery’, and whether it continues to address the barriers to participation faced by economically and socially disadvantaged groups. Indeed, as Game Plan makes clear, ‘grassroots’ participation remains a core concern for Government, particularly in terms of failures in provision (see Cabinet Office Strategy Unit, 2002). In the apparent vacuum created by the devolution of local authority activities, other local institutions (such as schools, regeneration partnerships, county sports partnerships and professional sports clubs) have become increasingly influential in the localised delivery of sports programmes. As such, sports development is now a core activity across a broad range of local services (Centre for Leisure and Sport Research, 2002).
In developing this argument, the paper will commence by examining the changing political constructs of participation and the consequent ways in which local authorities have sought to encourage people into active sport. The paper considers these initiatives in the light of CCT and BV, before considering the potential options for developing local delivery in the future
Editor's comments - [ This is an academic review paper commissioned by Sport England as contextual analysis to inform the preparation of the Framework for sport in England and part of a series of desk studies called Driving up Participation: The Challenge for Sport. ] Reference this?Cryer, J. (Year). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from <this page's full URL>
In the text: Cryer (year)
Reference : Ravenscroft, N. (2004). Sport and local delivery. Brighton: Chelsea school. University of Brighton.
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