Research of facilities a step in the right direction

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CAMBS County Council and the Cambs Football Association are finally going to look into the current provision for football in March after a Fenland Citizen story outlining the poor facilities at Estover Park before Christmas.

The county councillors have been quite happy to let the facilities become run down as they have halved the grant over recent years and only two clubs now play at the ground which is constantly targeted by dog walkers happy to leave their pet’s mess on the pitches.

Finally a county council spokesman has stated on the website “ShapeYourPlace” that they are commissioning a research and added: “It is important to consider the context of the Estover Road Playing Fields against the overall backdrop, so that a logical and supportable stance can be taken in moving forward with proposals that seek to address both established needs and future planned growth in the town.”

Attempts by Estover Park Football Club to raise funds for improvements at the ground have been thwarted by the county council’s insistence on a three-year lease and no sporting body was willing to pay out a grant on a ground covered by such a short lease.

Estover Park play their first team and reserve games at the ground and their secretary Steve Jackson said: “It is good news that a research is to be carried out but only if some positive action is taken in the end.

“We have had grants in place to improve the facilities, but the county council will not extend the lease beyond three years to Estover Park Playingfields Association. So the ball is really in their court.”

March Saracens play at the ground on Sunday mornings, but Estover Park’s junior boys and girls teams have abandoned the ground because of the poor facilities.

Susan Clenshaw, chairman of the Estover Playingfields Association commented: “It is positive news and we can only hope it comes out in our favour in the end and the facilities can be upgraded.

“We certainly cannot afford to lose any more playing fields in March.”