Lib Dems pitch in to ensure that sports facilities are up to scratch

Red blaes pitches could be getting a facelift
Red blaes pitches could be getting a facelift

Outdated red blaes sports pitches could be converted into modern all-weather surfaces as part of a new review into leisure facilities.

LibDem councillors, who recently parted ways with the ruling administration, put forward the proposal for the council’s Pitch Strategy at a development and regeneration committee meeting on February 2.

They were supported by independent councillor Duncan Cumming and the motion was agreed by the ruling Tory and Labour coalition.

The LibDems wanted to make sure that the new strategy includes red blaes pitches which are currently unusable, including at Lennox and Oakburn Park in Milngavie as well as at many primary schools.

Councillor Gotts said: “We welcomed the Pitch Strategy as an action plan for meeting the outdoor needs of our local sports clubs over the next few years but we were disappointed that red blaes sites had been excluded from the analysis.

“The reason given was that they are considered to be fundamentally poor quality in all cases and blaes is generally no longer considered a suitable surface for sport.

“We argued that engagement must take place with local communities to identify appropriate solutions for each of the red blaes areas in local parks and primary schools.

“Since red blaes are generally considered unsuitable for young children our recommendation includes examining the feasibility of converting part of the red blaes areas to all weather pitches so that pupils can benefit from outdoor physical education.”

Thomas Glen, East Dunbartonshire Council’s director of development and regeneration, said: “The aim of the Sports Pitches Strategy is to inform and guide the future provision of services, assets and activities in East Dunbartonshire over the next five years - ensuring they continue to make a positive and improving contribution towards good health, well-being, learning and social inclusion among local communities.

“At its meeting on February 2 the council’s development and regeneration committee agreed to approve the updated final strategy for adoption and publication.

“In addition, the committee agreed to engage with the local communities of Milngavie, Bearsden, Bishopbriggs, Kirkintilloch and the villages to identify appropriate solutions for each of the unused red blaes areas in the local parks in the interests of these aforementioned communities.

“The committee also agreed to examine the feasibility of converting part of the red blaes in schools to all weather pitches so that pupils can get the benefit of outdoor physical education and exercise.”