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It's all kicking off over pitch shortage

Created on 12/09/2018 @ 17:50
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Parents and officials are up-in-arms after having to cancel football matches already as a result of losing the Salop Roads pitch to the new Primary School development.

They accuse both Powys County Council and Welshpool Town Council of giving empty promises after struggling to accommodate matches for the town’s junior teams.

When the new super school was announced, sports clubs vented their anger at the prospect of the field (pictured) being lost, but reassurances were given that suitable facilities would be provided.

MyWelshpool understands that it could take 12 months for a suitable replacement field to be found, but that won’t please officials who are considering holding games in surrounding villages who have offered to help out.

“It is a joke,” said Dean Gill, who is involved heavily in the town’s junior football scene. “I think it’s about time Welshpool Town Council stopped bickering with Powys County Council and actually did something about these football pitches or lack of for these kids to play on.

“The junior football leagues started last week and I find it ludicrous that we don’t have an under 16 pitch for our two Welshpool teams to play on.

“Waterloo Rovers kindly offered their pitch this weekend to one of our teams only for the Town Council to refuse this, stating overuse concerns.

“Welshpool Juniors have liaised with Forden, Montgomery, Guilsfield and others who are willing to help with other age groups which is fantastic and greatly appreciated, but here in Welshpool they are doing absolutely nothing as per usual.

“I, like many, who are involved with this have kept quiet until now but I feel it’s time to speak out as again it’s false promises by both Welshpool and Powys councils.”

What Powys County Council told us in a statement:

“Powys County Council consulted with local groups, clubs and with the high school on the loss of the playing fields and have looked at various options to compensate the community for the loss of grass pitches. The town of Welshpool is constrained in terms of available land, with the established playing fields owned by the town council already being used to capacity.

“We have recently expanded the football field at Salop Fields to 90m by 45m, the minimum size required for a football pitch. It was expanded after discussions with Welshpool High School and ensures that they are able to use the pitch for sports while the new primary school is being built. We believe that this pitch would be big enough to host junior football games.

“We are also spending £800,000 into upgrading the sport facilities at Welshpool High School, including improving their current grass pitches to enable more frequent usage.

“Welshpool Church in Wales School governors have also agreed to work with local clubs to allow them access to the grass pitch at the Howell Drive (Maesydre) site.”

What Welshpool Town Clerk, Robert Robinson, told us:

“The Town Council considered a request to play another match on a pitch at Maesydre. The Council Services Committee minutes for September are online and their decision can be seen. I cannot go against that. The Youth Pitch is available for the existing youth teams to use that have been at Maesydre. The main pitches need to be maintained to a high standard for the league. Overuse of pitches is not in the interests of the existing users at Maesydre which is the Council’s priority.

“Powys County Council has not discussed with the Town Council any extra use of Maesydre. The issue of a shortage of pitches for those displaced by the school is for Powys County Council and not the Town Council.”

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