Call for action over waterlogged pitches

Frustrated parents are calling for something to be done about the condition of the local playing fields, which are frequently waterlogged.

Scott Storey, whose two children play for Wilmslow football teams, contacted both Cheshire East Council and Wilmslow Town Council because parents and their children are becoming increasingly fed-up with the number of games that have to be cancelled at the Jim Evison playing fields on Altrincham Road.

He said "We've become very familiar with what can only be politely described as a huge frustration for many children and families who play and support events at the Jim Evison playing fields.

"Along with a great number of parents of children who play at this venue we're frequently having to relay the disappointment to our sports mad kids that this weekend's match has been once again cancelled through an unplayable pitch. It's become a weekly talking point for several seasons as parents check first whether this weekend's game is home or away. Invariably there is a sigh of relief if the answer is away as most, if not all our local league opposition have access to reliable playable pitches, be they traditional grass or 3 / 4 G artificial."

Scott added "Our league stretches from Wilmslow and surrounding villages over to Knutsford, across to Wythenshaw and out as far as Flixton. Should our game be at home we, as parents, all brace ourselves for what the weather forecast determines leading up to the weekend. Unfortunately, the Jim Evison playing fields suffer dreadfully from what appears to be drainage problems which despite all council efforts there seems to be no resolution to."

Town Clerk Matthew Jackson has been in touch with CEC and local councillor Ellie Brooks regarding the problems.

Speaking at the Town Council meeting on Monday, 15th January, he said "CEC are currently undergoing a project with Cheshire FA to try and improve a number of their facilities of this nature by the way they maintain them and they are clearly expressing a desire that they are given the opportunity to try to implement some of these ideas before we, or CEC in the first instance, go to the expense of significant drainage work or alternative pitches."

Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment, said: "The pitches have officially been closed by our grounds maintenance team on three separate occasions this season (2 and 3 December; 9 and 10 December; and 16 and 17 December). This has been a borough wide issue due to poor weather and not just specific to the Jim Evison Playing Fields. Any further pitch closures there have been made by the teams, due to their club's health and safety policies.

"The closure of pitches can be due to a variety of weather-related reasons, including precautionary measures to prevent excessive damage to a pitch or because of a risk the ground may be frozen and unsafe to play on. A closure notice, made in advance of games, helps players and supporters by providing clarity and preventing unnecessary travelling.

"With regards to maintenance standards, the council and Cheshire FA are working together to develop a programme for enhancing pitch quality across the borough through the progressive modernisation of maintenance practices. We anticipate that pitches will gradually improve as this work progresses."

Councillor Don Stockton added "With regard to section 106 agreements, planning obligations, in the form of section 106 agreements, are designed to mitigate specific impacts from individual developments. The contributions are usually carefully specified within a formal legal obligation – they are not a form of generic funding that can be applied far and wide.

"The council will consider any such request for funding – but it's important to appreciate the limitations that apply to the spending of section 106 contributions."

Tags:
Jim Evison Playing Fields
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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Terry Roeves
Tuesday 23rd January 2018 at 4:01 pm
You can add the playing field off Browns Lane now with a large pond in the middle complete with ducks. In summer it’s swallows, sand martins and grey wagtail. At the moment you need wellingtons to get round.
There are small practice goal posts, but despite asking CEC some years ago, to either level off the worn water filled goal area or to move the posts, so they can be used, nothing has happened. . Some years later still nothing has been done. Used to take g’son there. Not possible anymore.
Simple enough job. No interest from CEC. Does the field belong to a builder? I wonder. Are we being discouraged from using it?
Sandra Cox
Tuesday 23rd January 2018 at 4:17 pm
I thought the field off Browns Lane was to be 'beautified' by Jones as part of their permission to build Bollin Park. This was to include a perimeter path for pedestrians and cyclists. The ability to cycle along Adlington Road (whatever the risks) and round that field was a very important part of Bollin Park's promotion as far as Jones were concerned. If this, or the widening of the entrance to the bypass by Summerfields, will ever happen is anyone's guess! Don't hold your breath!
Jon Armstrong
Tuesday 23rd January 2018 at 6:01 pm
Leave the ducks and geese alone. They aren't doing any harm and are a nice addition.
Sarah Statham
Tuesday 23rd January 2018 at 6:25 pm
My very short legged Jack Russell has to swim onto the Browns Lane field at the moment
Michael Roberts
Tuesday 23rd January 2018 at 6:27 pm
Mike roberts
Send the ducks to the pond at Sainsbury's
Car park!!
Nick Jones
Tuesday 23rd January 2018 at 7:20 pm
Rugby (and the round ball game) have always been Autumn / Winter team sports that seasonally finish in spring as the leather on willow,and lawn tennis begins....... A 4Gpitch wouldnt come cheap.... but ultimately ... you just cant beat nature ! ....
lots of other league fixtures called off that need to be rearranged for the same reason so no quick fixes.
Jackie Pass
Tuesday 23rd January 2018 at 7:42 pm
So poor football pitches is a "borough wide borough". The Cheshire East Playing Pitch Strategy 2017 makes very interesting reading.
http://bit.ly/2Dyg4pb
The Jim Evision playing fields gets a special mention in respect of its "mole infestation".
Julie Green
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 8:42 am
Re: Jim Evison playing fields. Has it always been this way or is it something to do with the run-off water from the car parks at the large premises next door?
Simon Worthington
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 4:17 pm
Wilmslow is built on a bog with a high water table. It floods and has been doing for ever.
John Fallows
Thursday 25th January 2018 at 6:11 pm
Having walked across the Browns Lane playing fields last weekend I took my muddy trainers into the Jones sales office at Adlington Road and asked why the promised landscaping (and lighting?) was not in progress. The salesman informed me that Jones had been happy to undertake the work as part of the overall site development ... however CEC had 'taken the project away from Jones' in to manage it themselves.

Does anyone have more insight into this? Presumably CEC have pocketed the Section 106 funding in the same pocket where they have stashed all the other funds (e.g. the widening of the A34 slip road from Dean Row Road?

Another one to add to the long, long list of CEC mishandled issues.
John Fallows
Thursday 25th January 2018 at 6:15 pm
Having walked across the Browns Lane playing fields last weekend I took my muddy trainers into the Jones sales office at Adlington Road and asked why the promised landscaping (and lighting?) was not in progress. The salesman informed me that Jones had been happy to undertake the work as part of the overall site development ... however CEC had 'taken the project away from Jones' in to manage it themselves.

Does anyone have more insight into this? Presumably CEC have pocketed the Section 106 funding in the same pocket where they have stashed all the other funds (e.g. the widening of the A34 slip road from Dean Row Road?

Another one to add to the long, long list of CEC mishandled issues.

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