Thursday, September 28, 2006

Letter on sports teams being left out in the cold.

Dear Editor,

I read with dismay your piece on ‘community sports clubs and societies being left out in the cold’, since the opening of Ashburton Learning Village. We are regularly reminded in the media that our children need exercise and to participate in sports. A la Jamie Oliver, former Crystal Palace striker Ian Wright is using factual TV entertainment to expose the issues surrounding the fitness and health of our kids.

However, in your example, it appears the local community is being excluded by a lack of facilities and a hike in charges.

The Addiscombe Corinthians football team, a local netball team and a dance school say they have been forced out since the school was taken over by Jarvis PLC.
It is obvious that Jarvis PLC is required to provide a dividend to their shareholders. Therefore, in order to prevent the local community being priced out, councillors should have sought assurances from Jarvis before signing a £60 million contract with them.

Using Private Finance Initiative projects, and similar schemes, to fund community facilities is not the answer to decades of underinvestment. It would be better if community facilities, such as this site on Shirley Road, were publicly owned in order to guarantee the level of service required by the local community.

Hopefully the users of this facility have reached an agreement with Jarvis or at least found a suitable alternative.

Yours sincerely

Shasha Khan
Croydon Green Party

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