Monday, September 21, 2015

The Paddock under threat

Why take away the facilities?

On the way into work I noticed there were a couple of contractors in the paddock across the road from our house (Valence Way-Fern Hill SS16 5UE) where we cut a wicket, they appeared to be doing something with the goal posts that are in there and I assumed they were making them safe. So on the way home I was expecting to see the goal posts set up-right seated in a new concrete base or something?

Instead I found that they'd removed all of the chain link fencing that stops our cricket balls and footballs disappearing into the bush. In addition the goal posts had been removed and an anti vehicle fence put up to stop anyone from parking on there. All in all the whole space now rendered absolutely useless as a space in which to play any sports.

Now I find this kind of contradictory, because as far as I was aware this was the Governments agenda...

Sport can improve people’s health as well as enriching their lives. Investing in facilities and encouraging participation in grassroots sport among adults as well as children will produce wide-ranging benefits.


So by de-commissioning the space and rendering it absolutely useless to anyone - how does that work with the agenda? I emailed one of the organisers for our local estate and her response was that the space would now be a picnic area. Hmmm, I can't see anyone going in there and having picnic especially as now the area is obviously no longer set aside for any form of sport the space will be quickly filled with dog crap.

I can get around it by driving 3 miles to out club and practicing on the artificial wicket there, but that then burns fossil fuels and I'm driving my car around unnecessarily. Or next year we just get resourceful in some way and erect our own fence to enable us to continue using it. The dumb thing is my son is on the verge of breaking into the Essex side as a bowler. The reason for this - he had somewhere to practice and now that has gone.

It's a shame they could have just left the fence.

So here's what they've done...
 This is what's left of the fence.

Ben Thompson looks on in dismay.
 This is the business end - this is the area that was behind the stumps, so this is where the fence is required and no longer is. My son Ben looks on in dismay.
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