Pitch battle: mark it out!

IT is unbelievable and completely unacceptable the operations division of Huntingdonshire District Council is refusing to mark out the two pitch layouts at the Riverside Park. There are local teams ready and waiting to play on them both for formal organis

IT is unbelievable and completely unacceptable the operations division of Huntingdonshire District Council is refusing to mark out the two pitch layouts at the Riverside Park.

There are local teams ready and waiting to play on them both for formal organised matches and for training sessions and informal kickabouts.

Huntingdon Town teams have been turned away and told they will have to play at Alconbury, Brampton or Hinchingbrooke.

By refusing to put back the two-pitch layout, the operations division are going against the wishes of the people of Huntingdon, against the recommendation of Sport England, against the needs of the footballing community and against the instructions of the elected councillors to whom they are supposed to be answerable.

Councillor Ian Bates, leader of the council, has stated the planning application to remove one of the two Riverside football pitches will be deferred until after the town's revised parking strategy is issued for consultation in November.

This means realistically the earliest the application could be considered by the development control panel would be January or February. Even then, if it is approved (and our elected councillors on the panel would be entirely wrong to approve this application against constituents' wishes), because Sport England has strongly objected to it, the application would then have to go for consideration to the Government Office for the East of England and the Secretary of State - and how long will that take? At least a couple of months, probably much longer.

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This means for practically the whole of this football season, there are no operational or planning issues which would prevent both pitches from being put in place and being fully used as they have in all previous years.

Our elected representatives need to take action now to make sure the operations division marks out both Riverside pitches.

DEBRA COSSEY-MOWLE

Hartford Road

Huntingdon

I AM interested to see the parking issues in Huntingdon have attracted a number of letters (August 16). Conservative county, district and town councillors representing Huntingdon have called for a moratorium to allow for a full and public debate on the matter.

The issue regarding Riverside Park is only one aspect of the problem we face in the short term. As residents, we all have to consider these three parking issues.

How and where do we provide the parking required by the town's residents, bearing in mind much of town centre housing was not built for residents' parking?

How and where do we provide parking for those who work in the town?

How and where do we provide parking for tourists, shoppers and others visiting the town?

Make no mistake: all three groups play a key role in the economic success of the town.

The district council has a parking strategy that is currently under review. Please support Ian Bates, leader of the district council, in encouraging residents to visit the Huntingdon Town Centre Vision display at All Saints' Church, Market Square, in Huntingdon on Thursday, September 14 (4-8pm), Saturday, September 16 (10am-3pm), Wednesday, September 20 (10am-8pm) and Saturday, September 23 (10am-3pm).

I hope that everyone will address this matter in a positive way. Parking is not just a council problem, it's our problem as well.

The future of Huntingdon is assured. Our traffic and transport problems need to be addressed in the light of Huntingdon's future economic success and also take into account future road patterns, which may change considerably following the upgrading of the A14.

Sir PETER BROWN

County councillor for Huntingdon

Hartford Road

Huntingdon

NOW let's see if I have this right. Pathfinder House is currently held up by scaffolding because it is in danger of falling down without it. The answer - build a new office.

Huntingdon needs more parking spaces near the town centre. The answer - when the council office workers are moved into their new offices with new desks and new office equipment, take away the scaffolding from Pathfinder House and, when it falls down, build a multi-storey car park (or will it miraculously stay up and be used by the council for something else?).

Who knows, it might even generate more trade and it would leave a much-needed green field site untouched.

COLIN COOPER

Veasey Road

Hartford

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