Reprieve for pavilions

PUBLISHED: 14:30 21 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:54 06 May 2010

THE FUTURE of football in North Hertfordshire has been given a boost as five sports pavilions have been saved from closure. Negotiations between the Hitchin Sunday Football League and Hitchin town councillors have led to the league taking over the running

THE FUTURE of football in North Hertfordshire has been given a boost as five sports pavilions have been saved from closure.

Negotiations between the Hitchin Sunday Football League and Hitchin town councillors have led to the league taking over the running of five sports pavilions at Cadwell Lane, Ransoms Recreation Ground, Swinburne, St John's and Walsworth Common.

The councillors have contributed £5,000 from their local budgets to help the league with running the pavilions.

The pavilions had previously been pencilled in for closure which would have had a detrimental effect on football in the town as it would have left players and referees without adequate changing facilities.

However, this latest decision will help keep the pavilions running until they are refurbished in coming years.

Alan Lowe, the league's competitions secretary, said: "This decision and the money provided by the councillors has been a very nice bump in the right direction of keeping the pavilions up and running."

Hitchin councillor Judi Billing said: "I am delighted that we have managed to get together with the local organisations who so need these facilities and get things sorted, without the thoughtless lack of imagination proposed by the council in suggesting that they just be closed down."

A council spokesman said that the five pavilions are all due to be refurbished.

She said: "Next year the pavilions at Ransoms Recreation Ground and Cadwell Lane are due to be refurbished which will give players new updated changing facilities. Refurbishments at Swinburne, St John's and Walsworth Common will follow on in future years to provide updated facilities throughout the town."

l THERE are hopes that a decision to close a "vital" public toilet will be reversed.

In June North Hertfordshire District Council's Cabinet decided to close the loos in Bancroft, Hitchin, as well as those in the town's Portmill Lane.

It also decided that The Arcade toilets would be revamped to include disabled access and that the town's market toilets would be refurbished.

The decision has caused uproar in the town and a number of Hitchin councillors have decided to take a motion to a full council meeting tonight (Thursday) to insist the decision to close the Bancroft toilets is reversed.

They will also ask the council "to consult with people with disabilities with regard to their needs for properly accessible public conveniences, with particular reference to those in Portmill Lane".

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