Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath, this week spoke in Westminster Hall calling on the Government to allow spectators back into sports venues once the newest lockdown restrictions have come to an end on 2nd December.
Speaking in a debate specifically focused on the future of football clubs, Bath’s MP said: “I have had a discussion with our local director for public health. The main issue is the uncontrolled spaces. Organisations and classroom teachers can control their spaces, but anything outside the classroom or a venue becomes an uncontrolled space, and that is the crux of the matter.” She then asked the Government to “put their minds on the issue of travel” in order to allow spectators back into football stadiums.
In the latest virtual community conversation hosted by MP Wera Hobhouse on Thursday on 5th November, the focus was the difficulties faced by sports clubs - and venues - in Bath. Guest speakers included Tarquin MacDonald, CE of Bath Rugby, Nick Blofeld, Chair of Bath City FC, Liam Johnson, Executive Director Bath Racecourse and Caroline Searle from Team Bath.
Following both the event and the speech, Wera Hobhouse, said:
“Sports in Bath have been very badly hit by the Covid-19 restrictions, and I worry about the impact that will have on our city. Bath Rugby Foundation lost 25% of its funding. Premiership clubs are losing ¾ to £1 million each month. And the damage is far from over with the new lockdown in place.
“It is estimated that our sporting clubs and venues bring around £35m into the local economy each year. All that has stopped. We need a roadmap to bring spectators, safely, back into sporting venues before the sector collapses – further harming the prosperity of our city.
“Sports is about bringing communities together and having fun. Even if it is socially distanced, it is possible. We’re entering the dark half of the year, and anything that promotes wellness and mental wellbeing is significant. Sport has such a huge part to play and I urge the Government to do the planning now so that spectators may return in December.”
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