One of the hardest issues in politics is ensuring that among all the immediate issues that rightly receive focus we don’t lose sight of the long term.
One such priority is ensuring that today’s school pupils have better health than their parents. The Government’s objective is to halve childhood obesity by 2030, tackling issues like sugary drinks. However success will ultimately depend on parents and others who can positively influence children.
I was therefore delighted to see at Castlewood School, pupils really enjoying the “Daily Mile” on their specially constructed “racetrack”. The simple concept of a daily minimum of 15 minutes or so of exercise (at any pace) helps not only physical fitness but mental wellbeing. It also aids classroom concentration. I am aware of other schools locally taking it up – joining thousands nationally.
Today’s school generation are also acutely aware of environmental issues. This week I delivered to Downing Street letters from local primary school children on the environment. Plastics (especially their impact on the oceans) is a regular question.
This week we heard from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that the 2C limit was not adequate for avoiding some of the more severe impacts of climate change and that efforts should be made to limit the temperature change to a maximum of 1.5C. The UK has, in relative terms, a good record on climate change and all our coal-fired power stations where carbon emissions aren't being captured and stored will be closed by 2025. This is just part of our efforts via the Clean Growth Strategy but more will need to be done.
Local efforts make a difference and I was delighted to join the Repair Café for their 1st birthday party on Saturday. Their example is being copied across the County. Adding to their existing remit the team I am told have helped consumers make some major savings to their energy bills whilst switching to renewable based suppliers.
It was also a pleasure to join the 10th birthday celebration of the Horsham Model Railway Club. Environmentalists would not be keen on the return of coal-powered locomotives but it is a joy to see them on 00 scale!
Photo caption: With young members of the Horsham Model Railway club at their 10th birthday celebration in the Drill Hall.