§ Mr. Greenway
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if his Department will take the lead in developing a cross-departmental strategy to promote the health benefits of physical activity; 
(2) if he will set joint targets with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport for the promotion of physical activity; 
(3) what plans he has to appoint a Joint Special Adviser between his Department and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport; 
(4) what plans he has to (a) encourage physical activity in society and (b) tackle increasing levels of obesity among young people; 
(5) what plans he has for greater co-operation between his Department and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on issues relating to (a) public health and (b) physical activity. 
§ Yvette Cooper
[holding answer 6 March 2001]: The NHS Plan emphasises that health is a key priority for Government. We are taking action to step up the cross-governmental focus inequalities and public health. This includes close working between the Department and that of my right hon. Friend in areas such as physical activity and obesity. The importance of physical activity is emphasised in the national service framework for coronary heart disease which requires that by April 2001 all national health service bodies working closely with local authorities will have agreed and be contributing to the delivery of the local programme of effective policies on increasing physical activity.
The Department of Health and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport work closely together on the public health elements of the new opportunities fund's healthy living centre initiative. Last year the fund provided over £6 million to the Countryside Agency and the British Heart Foundation to run the "Walking, the Way to Health" initiative.
As part of our on-going collaboration, this department and that of my right hon. Friend will consider the potential for developing joint targets and joint appointments. The inter-ministerial group to improve children's diet and activity, set up by the Minister for Public Health will also consider cross-departmental action to promote the health benefits of exercise, sport and other forms of physical activity and to tackle increasing levels of obesity. The group will assess what is already being done and discuss proposals for future joint working as set out in "A Sporting Future for All: the Government's Plan for Sport".93W
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, in conjunction with the Department for Education and Employment, has developed a number of initiatives to improve opportunities for children to enjoy high quality physical education and sporting activity in schools and the community.