Cricket facilities hit for six

June 13, 2008 2:05 PM
By Brentwood Weekly News reporter in Brentwood Weekly News

The last council-owned cricket square in the borough will be closed due to lack of demand.

The square at Warley Playing Fields, in The Drive, Warley will be closed after it was deemed uneconomical to keep it open this season.

Only one team has used the pitch for the past three seasons, and they will not be using it this year.

The square costs around £6,000 to maintain throughout the year.

Following a decision by Brentwood Council's leisure, sport and culture committee, the square will now be incorporated into the general grass area of the playing fields.

Chairman of the committee, Phil Baker (Cons, Shenfield) said: "There are clubs in the area that seem to be taking care of the needs of our cricketers and we need to make a stand here and say enough is enough and not provide this facility this year.

"If it was used regularly and was a vital asset, no problem, but as it has not been I can't see the point in keeping it going."

However, opposition councillors have criticised the move as premature, claiming that the increase in popularity of 20/20 cricket may mean demand goes up.

Speaking after the meeting, Lib Dem leader David Kendall said: "Cricket is a growing and popular sport in our borough and we are concerned that many sections of our community may have been unaware that the council had a grass cricket square available for hire.

"We believe it would have made more sense for the council to re-market the square through local schools and the press to gauge any demand and then make a final decision on it's closure."