Cuts to sport funding criticised by Lib Dems

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CUTS to sport funding have been criticised by the Liberal Democrats and Ukip.

Hampshire County Council granted permission for the county sports partnership, Sport Hampshire and Isle of Wight (SHIOW), to become a charitable incorporated organisation last week.

But the move has come under fire from both Ukip and the Lib Dems, who say it represents a cut in funding of up to 85 per cent.

Lib Dem Cllr Keith House said: ‘The Lib Dems want to see more not less support for sport and fitness for all age groups.

‘Such cuts are short-sighted when we have a growing obesity crisis and maintaining fitness among older people is one of the best inoculations against dementia.’

Cllr House’s views were backed by Ukip’s Chris Wood.

But Tory Cllr Andrew Gibson, executive member for recreation, said: ‘The move is an exciting opportunity to create a more diverse funding model for Sport Hampshire and IoW and, in turn, provides the best chance of continuing to deliver quality services.’

SHIOW is the fourth largest of 45 county sports partnerships across England. The new independent trust will start on April 1, 2016.