Scottish Government and Dundee City Council Out of Step on Exercise

Laurie Bidwell

21 February 2012

On Monday 13 February the Scottish Government launched the Take Life On initiative to promote the benefits of children participating in 60 minutes of exercise each day.

The most recent Scottish Health Survey found that only seven out of ten children meet the minimum physical activity recommendations.

Dr Andrew Murray, the Scottish Government’s Physical Activity Champion said:

"As a day to day GP, I know that Take Life On is a fantastic investment in Scotland’s health.

"Getting your children active and keeping them active has huge and lasting benefits and can be great fun.

"Being physically active improves achievement and concentration at school, and also prevents heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer in later life.

"It is the single best present you can give your children.

"Just 60 minutes of physical activity per day will help your children become healthier, happier adults.

"I’d urge everybody to take life on today."


Shona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, said:

"One of the most fundamental health challenges facing our nation is convincing young people to spend more time taking part in physical activity.

"The Scottish Health Survey shows more needs to be done to increase the number of children getting enough exercise.

"This year’s Take Life On campaign highlights to parents simple changes they can make to their children’s life to get them increasingly active and reduce the likelihood of illness later in life.

"But we recognise there is more we as a Government can do.

"That’s why we are investing in opportunities for young people to become more physically active in and around Scotland’s schools, such as the Active Schools Network, the delivery of 150 Community Sport Hubs across all local authorities by 2016, and action to help people make healthy life choices."


While the package of measures announced is welcomed and the campaign is laudable, it was a pity that Shona Robison was not talking to her SNP colleagues running the City Council.

On Thursday 9 February they bulldozed through their budget savings that will come into effect in April.

They insisted on cutting the team of visiting PE teachers that currently work in each one of our Primary Schools.

These teachers, with specialist qualifications, will be sorely missed.

It's surprising that the SNP group on the city council insisted on going through with this cut to the Primary PE teachers as Labour offered them a carefully costed alternative budget that found other savings to keep these teachers in the gym hall.

This required economies that are in some cases overdue such as reducing the number of chauffeur driven civic cars from two to one.

Apparently, the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.

Another short term cut with the potential to do long term damage to the education and health of our children.

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