Dave Ainsworth attended the Havering Sports Council meeting at the Town Hall last night, 23/7/13. He has made his report available to us


At last night's monthly meeting in the Town Hall, Cllr Andrew Curtin reported that a plan to clear an area in Dagnam Park to provide 2 full-size football pitches had been approved, and would now definitely go ahead.   He said changing facilities would be provided at Drapers Academy. 
This was well soundly contradicted by Cllr Denis Breading, who rightly pointed out that changing rooms were some distance from the playing area...far too far in fact, for Football Association approval.  The FA are concerned that footballers walking on studs over concrete can damage these studs, leaving dangerous sharp pointed edges.  Cllr Breading rightly pointed out that this is just somewhere to re-locate 2 exceptionally well-used football pitches at the Albemarle Centre which are being "lost" to the local sporting community in order to build houses for sale.
I remarked that the last time 2 football pitches were at this location, changing facilities were supposed to be provided by the then Kingswood Community School...but they hadn't done so, as they couldn't justify paying a caretaker "double-time" to open up on Sundays and didn't want strangers walking around their school.  This meant players & officials were turning-up ready-changed, or having to change in the open or behind trees.  I reminded the meeting that when football was a regular feature in Dagnam Park a serious lack of parking facilities had caused all manner of concerns in local roads with some residents even trapped in their houses while matches were "on" as cars blocked driveways.   I asked Cllr Curtin for definite confirmation that Drapers Academy would be opened-up when matches were "on"...he didn't answer.  I asked what parking provisions were in place.  Again no answer...except to repeat it'd been approved and would now definitely go ahead.
Has anybody formally consulted The Friends of Dagnam Park?   The meeting seemed a little vague as to exactly where these pitches would go, apart from a fact that we know they are far from changing facilities (if such facilities are even available).  Talk was of clearing space for these pitches.  I thought this area was protected as it had rare butterflies/insects etc.
On another matter : The Sports Council were informed last night of an 3-hour exhibition, announcing final plans for the re-vamped Broxhill Centre, is to be held in the Town Hall Chamber on Tuesday 30th July from 1pm-4pm.   Full displays & plans will be on view with Council Officers present to answer questions.  Just turn prior booking needed.
Hope to see many folk tonight (Wed) for the launch of local historian Don Tait's book...Don's Chairman of the Friends of Dagnam Park!
I've sent this to all Harold Hill Councillors (both Gooshays & Heaton Wards) and former Havering Mayor Del Smith (Friends of Dagham Park activist)  + a cc copy to the respected Havering Sports Council Honorary Secretary so he can be kept informed as to developments - into what increasingly seems to be another half-baked potty idea.  Personally I'm for more sporting facilities...but they should be properly planned, and our local community consulted.