It’s been a terrible spring – what spring you may well ask – following on a harsh winter and an abnormally wet summer last year. Many people have been concerned about the state of local open spaces as a result.

After the extremely wet winter some of the sports pitches like this one, on Otley Old Road, looked much the worse for wear – almost permanent puddles, followed by muddy quagmires.sports pitch

When the question was raised with the Parks and Countryside department, the reply was that the pitches had been constructed with high standard drainage. But it just wasn’t enough to cope with last winter’s extreme conditions.

So it’s been good to see the workmen on site recently, taking remedial action. The grass will soon regrow on the worst affected pitch, and the improved drainage will help to cope with future extreme weather.

The problems, of course, have not merely been bad weather. Harsh climatic conditions have coincided with even harsher economic ones for local councils – whose budgets, especially in urban, Labour-controlled areas, have been slashed.
The Labour City council in Leeds has done its best in these difficult times to maintain sports provision – part of its emphasis on health and well being.
It is committed to protecting the people of Leeds as far as it can from the full impact of government policies.

So the Council, like the rest of us, could do with some nice summery weather, to give pitches like this a helping hand. It’s more likely to get sunshine than help from the Tory/LibDem Coalition -even in this wash-out spring!

One thought on “Mending the sports pitches on Otley Old Road – all we need now is some sunshine.

  1. Are you aware that the pitches at Tinshill Recreation are part of the Council’s plan to introduce Dog Control Orders? As local residents we await the outcome of the recent consultation exercise undertaken by LCC. When you bear in mind that football teams and local residents leave more litter on these pitches than dog owners leaving dog faeces, then it beggars the question who exactly should have the control order. As for the state of the pitches. Well it would be important to look back at the original report that was approved by LCC. Only four pitches have been improved, when the original report talked about six. The drainage is not effective, as can be clearly seen when it rains and the natural spring appears from the bottom step of the upper pitch 1. These pitches also had to receive remedial work after only 12 months due to holes appearing where drainage slits had been farrowed. Prior to the pitch improvements the only part of the field that suffered with drainage issues was the central area, now we have drainage issues all over the pitches from the duck pond that appears close to the iconic tree, to the upper middle pitch 3, to the swimming pool of a goalmouth on pitch 1. What is needed here is a public inquiry as to why these issues are still occurring, and to also question where the money that was set aside for a skateboard park has gone. If you think that it has been solely down to the weather you are sorely mistaken.

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