A Sports Pitch Epilogue

We thought we would just offer this little epilogue to our most recent item on the alleged re-provision of the outdoor sports facilities that will be lost to the KALC development. Many of our readers will already know that there will be a single tennis court sized MUGA on the roof of the Academy. This will only be available for community use outside of school hours.

As previously reported the Council have also very generously paid the Westway Trust to refurbish a couple of their mangier, and little-used tennis courts, supposedly to cater for all others who previously used the Lancaster Green pitches, and will now be displaced to Westway.

The picture above highlights one of the problems with the nether regions of Westway where the refurbished pitches are located. They sit right next to busy motorway ramps that are so close you can almost reach out and touch the moving traffic – yes kids, that is a coach full of Olympic tourists, and it is almost close enough to touch! And can’t you just smell the delicious stink of diesel fumes???

This second picture gives a sense of the far superior ambience of the pitches at Lancaster Green, soon to be bulldozed out of existence. Unfortunately, informal kick-abouts (and other childrens play) will no longer be an option for local kids as charges for the new facilities, both here and at Westway, will be levied where previously they used to play for free. Here’s a quote about pricing from the Cabinet paper presented by the Director of Planning and Development in July 2010:

“Cabinet may wish to note that Westway charges adults £35 per hour peak time, and £25 off-peak, juniors are charged £25 peak time, and £17 off-peak, and so there is a high probability that Westway will be able to propose satisfactory terms for managing the usage of any two new MUGAs that might be funded by the Council.”

By the way, this was the same paper, previously reported on this blog, that recommended that Cabinet vote £75,000 to Westway Trust to pay for this piece of crap.

Sorry kids – No pay no play in the future plans mapped out by Mr Bore.

(Yes that’s his real name – and  it does seem rather apt, don’t you think?)

It needs to be said here also that the refurbished pitches at Westway would never be used by Lancaster West children, even if they could afford to pay, which of course they cannot. The pitches are on the wrong side of the Silchester Estate, enemy territory as far as Lancaster West kids are concerned. The Council’s planners have failed to consider the territorialism that dictates where it is safe, and where it is unsafe, for inner city kids to venture.

The Council’s re-provision plan is obviously far more about profit-taking and the economics of the leisure industry than it is about providing usable play-space for the disadvantaged children of a disdavantaged inner–city community.

Why are we not surprised by this?

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