LETTER: Sport England might intervene

Your letters
Your letters

Having taken the time to read the articles and letters that have appeared in the last two editions of your newspaper, I am not surprised about the anger and concerns that have been generated by the action that has been undertaken by a select few of Horsham District Council members.

I consider myself a ‘community minded person’, indeed a good deal of my time over the last 26 or so years has been taken up in trying to support those groups or individuals that need help in the Horsham community and surrounding villages. In addition I have been a member of Horsham Indoor Bowls Club since 2008.

It was with the help of a Horsham District Council leaflet that highlighted the fact that courses were available at the indoor bowls club for those people interested in trying this game. Following the ten week course I along with a number of others enjoyed the game so much, that I have played, with the exception of holidays, every week since. The friendships with likeminded people resulted.

Horsham District Council supported the setting up of a Youth Section, which is thriving. In addition the bowls rinks are being used by the disabled, youth organisations, and blind bowlers, local schools, Scouts, Guides and members of the public.

All use the facilities that are run and controlled by the club members at no cost to the council. Organisations such as Probus Clubs, U3A, and the local Alzheimer’s Association come to the facilities to play bowls and have a social meal on a regular basis throughout the year. It is quite clear that this is not a minority sport but a sport that is undertaken by the whole spectrum of the Horsham community.

It is interesting to note that when Horsham District Council wanted the land occupied by the Horsham Outdoor Bowling Club in order that they could undertake an extensive redevelopment of the west side of Horsham, they had no problem in finding a suitable new site, even though those bowling greens are only used from April to the end of September. The indoor bowling club is open for use throughout the year.

Perhaps the following is a little more controversial, but I understand that The Handcross Bowling Club, which had been part of the community for many years but only had four greens was facing closure by the local council, but Sport England became involved and pointed out that existing sports in the community cannot be simply closed down and as a consequence they now have a six outdoor rinks.

Horsham District Council do you want to face the same embarrassing situation from a powerful and influential body?

The most damming fact with regards the actions of this council appears in the letter of Ruth and John Bradbury (County Times 6 March 2014), which states that a new lease for the building was negotiated whereby it was extended from 2015 to 2025 but that is being retracted. I suspect lawyers could have a field day on this and many other issues. I do not want the council to waste the public’s money.

The consultant’s report upon which Horsham District Council made the decision in June 2012 that Option 7A was the right option for the future development of The Quadrant, clearly stated that on the basis of the population that an eight rink bowling facility is justifiable.

We know that house building is going on a great pace and therefore the population is increasing, so there is no justification for not having such a facility and certainly I have seen no justification for suggesting an ice rink (County Times 27 February 2014).

At the end of the day I implore Horsham District Council members to see that this facility is not only used by the 400-plus members of The Horsham Indoor Bowling Club but a whole host of individuals from the young people of this community through all age groups as well as the disabled . This is a facility for the whole of our community and therefore should re-instated at least the facility proposed by Option 7A.

TOM OSBORNE

Middleton Road, Horsham