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Her Majesty's pledge to Welshpool

 
Created on 16/09/2010 @ 09:06
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Her Majesty the QueenThe future of Welshpool’s biggest outdoor recreational area is safe after the town entered into a covenant with Her Majesty the Queen.

With 6,000 playing fields lost across the UK in the last 18 years and Welshpool’s growing population placing a strain on current housing numbers, developers are believed to have been casting a wondering eye over the Maesydre fields located on the town’s western perimeter.
But the town council has moved fast by entering into a watertight agreement with Buckingham Palace as part of a national initiative to save 2,012 playing fields before the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
“We can breathe a collective sigh of relief,” said Town Clerk Robert Robinson. “This proposal has received overwhelming support from the council which basically means the grounds cannot be touched. And if they are, a developer would have to provide a suitable replacement of at least similar size elsewhere in the town.”
Welshpool already falls behind the national average for public open space per head of population. Towns should provide for six acres per 1,000 people, and Welshpool currently lags short at 32 acres, instead of the recommended 42 for its 7,000 residents.
The initiative called The Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge, has been launched by her grandson, Prince William, who contacted the Town Council following Her Majesty’s visit to the town earlier this year.
As a result, Welshpool will become one of the country’s first towns to sign up, delighting His Royal Highness.
“The Queen Elizabeth II Fields challenge is ambitious but much needed,” he said. “It will require the support of sporting bodies, local authorities and, most importantly, the British people in local communities up and down the country. I am certain the Fields will bring lasting benefit to countless individual lives. Being able to play outdoors is a basic right of childhood. The Queen Elizabeth II Fields will guarantee that millions more children are able to enjoy that right both now and in the future.”
The Maesydre fields are also used year round by the town’s sports clubs with football, rugby and cricket all played there.
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