Damaged tennis courts still in bad condition a year later

Witney Gazette: Chris Pyne shows some of the damage to the courts. Chris Pyne shows some of the damage to the courts.

MORE than a year after action was promised to fix “dangerous” tennis courts in Witney, nothing has yet happened.

Witney Lawn Tennis Club has been complaining to its landlord Witney Town Council over the state of its courts at West Witney Sports Ground since 2007.

The town council agreed to spend £28,000 resurfacing the courts in March last year but has now commissioned a strategic document into the future of all sports facilities in Witney and does not want to spend money in a “piecemeal” way until this has been completed.

Witney Lawn Tennis Club chairman Chris Pyne said: “The courts are breaking up. They have got bad cracks, poor grip and people have slipped over. From day one when they were patch repaired five years ago they started flooding. “Paint over paint over paint means the porosity has been reduced.

“Some of our members have left because they felt the courts were not up to the standards that allowed them to play. It is affecting the future of the club.”

Mr Pyne added: “I am extremely disappointed that the council is able to put off this renovation programme without any indication of when the work will be done.

“There is no reason why they should not make an immediate decision to renovate the courts.

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“The club will be there when the report comes back.”

The club pays the council rent and in return the authority is required to maintain the club’s four floodlit courts, at the sports ground off Burford Road.

Club officials asked the council to resurface the courts in 2007 but, following professional advice, the authority decided to recoat them instead in 2008.

Mr Pyne said this had led to “terrible” drainage and, since January 2012, he has attended eight town council meetings to ask for the courts to be resurfaced.

In March last year, the council agreed to spend £28,000 resurfacing the courts.

But since then the council has decided to commission a report into the state of its sports facilities around the town so that future investment can be planned.

The draft report, produced by Sports Solutions GB, was presented to councillors at a closed meeting in July. The final report is expected to be released in September.

The club has about 100 adult members along with about 80 junior members.

Town clerk Sharon Groth said: “To carry out piecemeal work at this stage may not be cost effective and could waste taxpayers’ money.

“The council therefore wants the opportunity to consider the strategic plan for the whole of West Witney Sports Ground, including the tennis courts, to ensure it meets its long-term objectives.”

But Cllr Toby Morris, speaking at a full council meeting earlier this month, said: “I want to share Mr Pyne’s frustrations.

“I know the Sports Solutions GB report is not finalised, but presumably there will be a tennis club with tennis courts.

“I am quite annoyed that we made a decision and that still has not been carried out.”

Comments (2)

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3:16pm Wed 21 Aug 13

samsamsdad says...

Yet another example of the Town Council allowing facilities to be used that aren't fit for purpose.
Yet another example of the Town Council allowing facilities to be used that aren't fit for purpose. samsamsdad

5:18pm Wed 21 Aug 13

Kirst1712 says...

How can the refurbishment of the courts be a waste of tax payers money when the WLTC has been paying them rent which is contractually meant to be used for the upkeep of the courts? If tax payers money would need to be spent it raises the question on where the money has gone! Another stalling tactic maybe?
How can the refurbishment of the courts be a waste of tax payers money when the WLTC has been paying them rent which is contractually meant to be used for the upkeep of the courts? If tax payers money would need to be spent it raises the question on where the money has gone! Another stalling tactic maybe? Kirst1712

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