With no clear plan in place for the future, steps to put the Multi-use Sports Field into full use on the Wheatpieces 2 Development have caused great concern amongst Residents living adjacent to the Field and along Starling Road.
Wheatpieces Parish Council held an open debate with Residents who attended the June Parish Council Meeting and this followed the Council’s previous decision to ask Tewkesbury Borough Council (TBC) to begin the work necessary to make the two Football Pitches, which had always been planned, ready for use.
As a result of the discussion with those Residents present last Month, the Parish Council passed a Motion at last nights Meeting to rescind or stop the earlier decision, whilst they carry out a full Consultation across the Parish; a Plan which was also agreed by Members at this Month’s Meeting.
When I attended last Month, I was asked to follow up with Borough Officers so that the Parish Council could be fully clear on matters, before the questions for a Consultation could be decided and then written in a way which considers all of the options open to the Parish and to Residents.
The Field and MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area) are currently under the ownership of TBC, but could be adopted by the Parish. I now understand that the Field can only be used for the intended purpose of two full-sized Football Pitches and that at the current time, whilst the Parish is being and will be consulted on use, this decision ultimately rests with TBC Officers, who I also understand to have registered a need for Football Pitches in the area beyond Walton Cardiff.
Clearly, the Parish Council does not yet know how the whole Community feels about putting the Field into use for Football and they are without doubt doing the right thing by engaging Residents through a Consultation and asking everyone what they would like to happen.
However, at last night’s Meeting, I also advised the Council that it is my view that the best way for local people to influence the future of the Field most effectively will be for Wheatpieces Parish Council to adopt it from TBC. This way, the choices that need to be made now and in the future will be made as locally as they can be, and in the way that in normal circumstances you would expect them to be.
The Consultation which Wheatpieces Parish Council plans to carry out over the Summer will give all Residents the opportunity to have their say on a real issues affecting people in their own locality. I hope as many Residents as possible will be able to spare the time to take part and support the Parish Council to make its decision.