Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting MG NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Federation ‘failing the town’s sports groups’
CLAIMS that an organisation dedicated to saving the town’s playing fields has failed have been strongly denied.
Ledbury Sports Federation was formed 18 months ago to safeguard fields and improve sports facilities.
Former president Don Rule is stepping down from most of his duties for personal reasons but said this week: “I regret the total failure to establish a vigorous and active sports federation.
“Since moving here 30 years ago, I have been constantly concerned at the under-provision of sports and recreation land.
“It is estimated we have less than 30 per cent of such land as would be considered necessary for a town of our size (by population) by the National Playing Fields Association.
“Even what we have has been constantly threatened, yet sports people and clubs seem to prefer to fight their own corner rather than speak with one big voice which would be seen and heard by the responsible bodies.
“I sadly prophesy in a future of cutbacks in public spending and private recession, the football and cricket clubs will face yet more attempts to develop their privately owned pitches.
“Even though times are hard, there are funds available from many sports and other organisations.
It is essential to have a well thought out and comprehensive plan to obtain such support.”
Federation chairman Bob Barnes denied the claim and said a plan was in the pipeline, which could lead to extra playing fields.
He said: “We are waiting for Herefordshire Council to supply us information concerning land.”
Funding for the land could come from donations and grant applications.
He said a possible area for new pitches had been identified, but declined to give further details.
Concerning the possible threat of developers to the football and cricket grounds, Mr Barnes said: “They are identified as protected public spaces on the present Unitary Development Plan, and I hope they will remain as protected public spaces on the new Local Development Plan.”