Harlow Conservative councillor calls for “Fat Boot Camps” in town centre for colleagues
Health / Fri 18th Nov 2022 at 11:08am
A HARLOW Conservative councillor has called for Fat Boot Camps for her colleagues to be set up in the town centre.
Netteswell councillor, Colleen Morrison (Cons) made the suggestion at a meeting of the Harlow Council Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday night.
The agenda item in question was the recent report into the Health and Well Being of the town.
The report reveals some worrying statistics into the physical and mental health of Harlow residents.
Labour councillor Kay Morrison had earlier suggested that, as civic leaders, they could lead by example by, for example, taking part in the park run on a Saturday morning.
Councillor Colleen Morrison seems to have taken it one weighing scale further.
Councillor Morrison felt that “fat” Harlow councillors could lead the way with fat boot camps for councillors in the town centre.
Film is below.
I would just like the councillors to manage the affairs of the council in a professional manner without all the virtue signalling and showboating. Whether they are fat, thin, bald, spotty, beautiful, black or white I do not care. Politics is becoming more and more a beauty contest which allows the talentless to succeed, especially amongst the Labour opposition.
I could have put it more tactfully, however, the point holds. It’s not about virtue signalling or beauty, David. It’s about fitness and health - and councillors practicing what we preach. Harlow has some slim councillors - and some overweight ones like me. For overweight councillors like myself to tell members of the public to lose weight, while not making an effort to lose weight ourselves, would be hypocritical. I would prefer to work to lose weight alongside other overweight residents, rather than preaching at them. Boot camps can be effective, I would try a local one if one was available and fits in with my job and my council duties.
Of course, we do have an MP who promotes car use, and a govt that does nothing to manage bus routes, and a county council that does nothing to maintain our cycle track net work. Despite this, simple exercise like walking is very cheap and our town has so many places to walk, jog or cycle away from traffic
Could I help and remind the Tory councillor that the council has a corporate contract with the excellent, but expensive Leisurezone that is open to all council staff including councillors. This provides a slight discount of the fee but would provide everything the Tory councillor is requesting including access for one-to-one session. whilst I'm sure her comment was well intended it would be simply wrong to expect the town to pay for councillors to lose weight. There are many reasons why people have a body mass but to have a public boot camp in the middle of the town centre paid for by taxpayers is not the answer.
You cannot exercise your way out of a bad diet. Exercise is a great thing, but not necessarily for losing weight. Having an honest national discussion about the food environment and the amount of added sugar and carbohydrates consumed might be a better idea
Readers might want to read the full Health and Well Being report. It lays out starkly Health and Economic statistics about our town and the serious issues that need to be addressed. The Committee welcomed the report and recommended that (SMART) multi agency and Council specific action plans be drawn up. Which will show in a specific and measurable way how the agencies will seek to tackle the problems the report so clearly identifies. see link https://moderngov.harlow.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=119&MId=1552&Ver=4
At one time a free or very heavily discounted pass for the old Harlow Sports Centre for residents and doctors could prescribe free access to the gym. Certainly most of Harlow families can't afford to use the LeisureZone regularly or frequently. Harlow once had a very active population, most people engaged in sports of one kind or another, we had the biggest amateur football league in Europe, a velodrome, ski slope, an athletics and football stadium in the town centre, an Olympic standard swimming pool and very active and affordable play schemes. All gone. The price of such "savings "has been a decline in health that's added massive burden and costs to the nhs.