We want our pitch perfect

Jonnie Walker
Jonnie Walker

An after school football team have accused council chiefs of “running scared” of residents by refusing to install floodlights at a school pitch.

As we previously reported, Lenzie Youth Club claim they can’t use the Lenzie Academy pitch all year round because of a lack of floodlights and have started an online petition.

Now pupils and parents have joined the cause. S5 footballer Jonnie Walker, who has represented the school over 40 times, said: “Since the pitch was opened in early 2013, my team has played only two league matches on it.

“The school football season pretty much runs from late September to March, and the lack of lights means our home pitch is out of action for about four months. So over the winter we have to travel everywhere for ‘home’ matches – which is really unfair”.

Parent helper Karen Graham, added: “I couldn’t believe that East Dunbartonshire Council recently spoke about making a ‘balanced decision”. It seems to me they are running scared of a few self-interested residents and put them ahead of the hundreds of young people who are deprived of a vital facility. There’s no justifiable reason why the pitch couldn’t have lights until early evening at least.’’

Grace Irvine, director of neighbourhood services, said, “I understand the concerns of the parents and pupils and the frustration they feel at the lack of lighting, which causes restricted use of the pitch in the winter.

“The issue of floodlighting was given serious consideration when the designs for the pitch were originally drawn up. However, the close proximity of homes to the school and the very real concerns of neighbours about light pollution meant a decision was taken not to install floodlights.

“As a council we are duty-bound to make a balanced decision taking account of all views. “

To sign the petition visit www.lenzieyc.org.uk/lights