Petition aims to save playing fields

Swindon mayoress Coun Teresa Page receives a petition from Coun Nadine Watts against plans for development on Croft Fields

Swindon mayoress Coun Teresa Page receives a petition from Coun Nadine Watts against plans for development on Croft Fields

First published in News by , Reporter

A PETITION aiming to secure the future of Croft playing fields was handed to Swindon Mayoress Teresa Page yesterday.

The fields are currently included in discussions regarding the long-term lease of the Croft Leisure Centre, along with the town’s other facilities.

And there are worries there is not enough precautions in place to stop the land being closed off to the public, or to prevent developers building on the fields once they leave council control.

The plans form part of Swindon Council’s Leisure And Culture Change Programme, which is seeking to address the council’s estimated £54m budget gap over the next three years.

They aim to transfer the facilities via long-term leases, allowing the council to reduce the considerable costs of providing leisure facilities and services, while at the same time making them financially sustainable.

The petition, organised by Pipers Area Residents’ Association received 1,748 signatures.

It aims to take the fields out of the lease discussions.

Residents hope that the council will debate the matter and safeguard the future of the fields.

Claire Bouverie-Brine, a member of PARA, said: “We want to make sure that the fields remain available for the public to use.

“I feel really strongly about this as do 1,700 other people.”

Residents went to the council offices, in Euclid Street, to hand the petition to the mayoress and they hope an extraordinary meeting will take place which will see the fields removed from the lease discussions.

Linda Kasmaty, who lives near the field, said: “The reason we don’t want the fields to be part of the leisure centre lease is because anything could happen to it in three years and we want to maintain this vital facility for our community.”

The mayoress said: “It is fantastic to see the public come together in this way, and to get so many signatures shows the strength of feeling.

“I wish them well with their aim.”

Coun Nadine Watts (Lab, Old Town) has also been a major part of the campaign and handed over the petition.

She said: “I think this petition perfectly shows the local residents’ concerns and the momentum has kept going and going.

“There have been so many posters in homes and businesses which is fantastic and has helped this campaign.

“Hopefully we’ll now have a meeting and the matter can be discussed, and the right outcome can be reached.”

Comments (3)

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9:41am Thu 12 Jun 14

Davey Gravey says...

We need to protect the towns remaining green spaces. Trouble is, when existing brownfield sites are waiting to be developed-ie the Westlea aldi proposals, people still oppose it.
We need to protect the towns remaining green spaces. Trouble is, when existing brownfield sites are waiting to be developed-ie the Westlea aldi proposals, people still oppose it. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 5

9:58am Thu 12 Jun 14

FLOGGITLAD says...

These protest groups will never learn will they, once again Ms Snelgrove pops up in the photo, will she now vote to let this sale go through or what.. faringdon\guildord road post office closures comes to mind...
These protest groups will never learn will they, once again Ms Snelgrove pops up in the photo, will she now vote to let this sale go through or what.. faringdon\guildord road post office closures comes to mind... FLOGGITLAD
  • Score: 0

6:04pm Fri 13 Jun 14

trolley dolley says...

I just wonder if it is the same set of people who campaigned against the Croft School being built.

Objecting to every development seems to be in the DNA of these local people.

There are plenty of spaces available in Swindon to play sports, it is not as though this is the last or only one.

As for Ms Snelgrove of CLOSE THE POST OFFICES fame, why is she included in the photo anyway.

She is a candidate for next year but her influence on current events must be zero.
I just wonder if it is the same set of people who campaigned against the Croft School being built. Objecting to every development seems to be in the DNA of these local people. There are plenty of spaces available in Swindon to play sports, it is not as though this is the last or only one. As for Ms Snelgrove of CLOSE THE POST OFFICES fame, why is she included in the photo anyway. She is a candidate for next year but her influence on current events must be zero. trolley dolley
  • Score: -2

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