Council looks to shut two Newport bowling greens

SHOCKED: St Julians Bowls Club secretary Ron Whitehead, left, and president Peter Rees

SHOCKED: St Julians Bowls Club secretary Ron Whitehead, left, and president Peter Rees

First published in News

THE sport of outdoor bowls in Newport is under threat, according to the president of the city’s bowling association, after the city council announced it is looking to shut two greens.

Five clubs based at Caerleon and Glebelands bowling pavilions have been given a week to decide whether they want to take over the running and maintenance of the sites, or move.

The council, which is looking at shutting the two pavilions, says it can no longer subsidise the sport, saying it costs it £96,000 a year.

Meanwhile, the council is proposing to almost double season ticket fees – from £80 a season to £150, and from £48 to £90 for concessions.

It says the changes, which could save £45,508, will still leave council-supported bowling greens at Beechwood Park and two at Belle Vue Park. Officers say bowling facilities have not been working to their full capacity.

But Russell Morgan, president of the Newport Bowling Association, said: “They are pricing people out of it.”

An alternative plan of making all greens self-managed is also being looked at.

There are currently five bowls clubs based at the Glebelands pavilion and two at the Caerleon pavilion.

There are already four at the Belle Vue greens, and three at Beechwood Park.

A lease would be drawn up with an association representing the clubs for the the remaining Beechwood and Belle Vue greens, which would be controlled by the council.

Ron Whitehead, secretary of St Julians Bowls Club based at Glebelands pavilion, said his club was told Tuesday and asked to make a decision by next Tuesday.

He said: “At the moment we’re in shock, we’re very angry. They have given us a week. We’re very unhappy as to howit’s been handled.”

A meeting will be held to discuss the issue at the Glebelands bowling pavilion on Monday at 7pm.

‘No way’ subsidies can stay

CABINET member for leisure and culture Debbie Wilcox said the council could not continue to subsidise the game of bowls as it has.

She said: “It is important that we support bowling in the city, but there is no way we can continue this considerable level of investment.”

A spokeswoman for the council said teams affected had been given a week to give initial consideration as “to whether they would prefer to relocate to another council bowling facility, explore options with a noncouncil- run facility, or look to take over the management and maintenance of the facility.”

She said it was appreciated this was a short timescale, but with the new season starting in April, the authority wanted to ensure it could accommodate everyone’s wishes by then.

Cefn Wood Bowling Club, in Rogerstone, went to selfmanagement in 2010.

The council is considering the cuts amid the squeeze on public funding from Westminster.

But the moves were not part of the 2013/14 budget consultation.

Comments (12)

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3:49pm Fri 1 Mar 13

Independentvoter says...

Whilst all communities are suffering with the closure of leisure centres, Care homes closure of meals on wheels etc All councillors from all parties agree that they need to save money, especially with buildings that have huge running costs.

So how much does it cost per year to run the Civic Centre ?

How can these councillors stand in such a grandeous building debating ways to save money ?

Does'nt make sense to me.
Whilst all communities are suffering with the closure of leisure centres, Care homes closure of meals on wheels etc All councillors from all parties agree that they need to save money, especially with buildings that have huge running costs. So how much does it cost per year to run the Civic Centre ? How can these councillors stand in such a grandeous building debating ways to save money ? Does'nt make sense to me. Independentvoter
  • Score: 0

4:10pm Fri 1 Mar 13

Bobevans says...

What we are not seeing is any attempt to improve efficency by Newport Council. In fact it is avoiding it.

A lot of the functions in Local Council could be run more centrally. Why does each council need its own Finance , HR, IT Legal departmets, Call Centres & Council tax departments. WE could have One lot of these servinbg all the SE Wales Councils
What we are not seeing is any attempt to improve efficency by Newport Council. In fact it is avoiding it. A lot of the functions in Local Council could be run more centrally. Why does each council need its own Finance , HR, IT Legal departmets, Call Centres & Council tax departments. WE could have One lot of these servinbg all the SE Wales Councils Bobevans
  • Score: 0

5:59pm Fri 1 Mar 13

newportonian69 says...

why have so many councillors in Newport,and why are we paying all these wages surely we can cut out a lot of these,not just saving wages but all the perks they get.Bowls is going,football at Spytty Park gone,speedway gone ,squash gone,athletics gone Newport council dont wont sport in there city.They would rather dig up Newport town centre every decade and waste money perhaps around 2020 nthey well re-pedrestianise it again and move the bus station again.
why have so many councillors in Newport,and why are we paying all these wages surely we can cut out a lot of these,not just saving wages but all the perks they get.Bowls is going,football at Spytty Park gone,speedway gone ,squash gone,athletics gone Newport council dont wont sport in there city.They would rather dig up Newport town centre every decade and waste money perhaps around 2020 nthey well re-pedrestianise it again and move the bus station again. newportonian69
  • Score: 0

6:20pm Fri 1 Mar 13

skipbifferty says...

I have no idea why we pay councillors; years ago it was an honour too serves on the council. I wonder how many councillors would serve today if they were not paid or were not able to claim expenses. I think it would be none!!
I have no idea why we pay councillors; years ago it was an honour too serves on the council. I wonder how many councillors would serve today if they were not paid or were not able to claim expenses. I think it would be none!! skipbifferty
  • Score: 0

8:30pm Fri 1 Mar 13

pinkygemstar says...

The council are pricing people out of this pass time. This is obvious.The increase in fees are ridiculous. To only give 7 days notice to discuss these very important decisions about the bowling clubs is not enough.. Meetings and discussions should have been taking place over a longer period of time, so that all avenues could be explored.
The council are pricing people out of this pass time. This is obvious.The increase in fees are ridiculous. To only give 7 days notice to discuss these very important decisions about the bowling clubs is not enough.. Meetings and discussions should have been taking place over a longer period of time, so that all avenues could be explored. pinkygemstar
  • Score: 0

9:36pm Fri 1 Mar 13

emlynkide says...

seven days, what could you do in seven days, i reckon half the councillors could have the sack and they wouldnt be mist, why do we need them all, there could be a big saving there for a start,
seven days, what could you do in seven days, i reckon half the councillors could have the sack and they wouldnt be mist, why do we need them all, there could be a big saving there for a start, emlynkide
  • Score: 0

11:26pm Fri 1 Mar 13

PaulHalliday says...

7 Days notice is appalling!!!! This can not be allowed to continue like this. Also this disproportionately hurts the oldest in our society who tend to play bowls.
7 Days notice is appalling!!!! This can not be allowed to continue like this. Also this disproportionately hurts the oldest in our society who tend to play bowls. PaulHalliday
  • Score: 0

12:14am Sat 2 Mar 13

displayed says...

Well bowl me down, I thought that the old fogi, I mean the elders of Newport would still be able, to keep fit an active, with a friendly game of bowls!

Guess nothing is sacred!
Well bowl me down, I thought that the old fogi, I mean the elders of Newport would still be able, to keep fit an active, with a friendly game of bowls! Guess nothing is sacred! displayed
  • Score: 0

11:10am Sat 2 Mar 13

newportonian69 says...

perhaps if the gypsies played the game the council would give them the land for there caravans a free club house and a green to play and then our taxes to go up to pay for them.
perhaps if the gypsies played the game the council would give them the land for there caravans a free club house and a green to play and then our taxes to go up to pay for them. newportonian69
  • Score: 0

12:22pm Sat 2 Mar 13

jaggededge says...

what idiot had the idea to put check point charlie at the bus depot in corpa road what a waste of money but thats the council for u
what idiot had the idea to put check point charlie at the bus depot in corpa road what a waste of money but thats the council for u jaggededge
  • Score: 0

1:18pm Sat 2 Mar 13

Goldy_Lookin_Clart says...

checkpoint charlie at bus depot, explain ?
checkpoint charlie at bus depot, explain ? Goldy_Lookin_Clart
  • Score: 0

6:39pm Sun 3 Mar 13

jaggededge says...

take a look y after all these years do they have to put up a stone checking point as the buses go back to bed at night
take a look y after all these years do they have to put up a stone checking point as the buses go back to bed at night jaggededge
  • Score: 0

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