I write regarding the impasse apparently reached by Pontypool Rugby Football Club and Torfaen County Borough Council over the use of the rugby pitch and its amenities. With respect to Mr Jeffries, the primary reason for the threatened departure of the rugby club from Pontypool Park is the vandalism that is taking place and not the council’s refusal to co-operate on fundamental legal issues. Pooler believes that a fence around the ground would safeguard it from destructive acts. The 1920 covenants prevent the park from being used for anything other than full public use. Furthermore, the views of other park users, who may agree with the wording of the covenant, must be considered. Has the club considered employing guards to keep watch day and night? If the club has already spent £20,000 to obtain advice how to overturn the covenants and is prepared to spend up to £1,000,000 to completely review the facility, then surely money must be forthcoming to hire security guards or to create a team of guards from supports, ex-players, or early-retired people who can be trained to the required standard. Because such a resource would benefit the park as a whole, the Council might well see their way clear to contributing to the cost of paying those keeping watch over the rugby facilities. All kinds of building sites and places of public interest are guarded. It is a sad commentary on human nature. The park no doubt in the past was kept locked at night. If the funds do not stretch to returning to that situation, then let us concentrate on ensuring that this respected club, performing so well at the present time, should stay where it has been for so many years. Pontypool Park, its spiritual home.

R Harrison

Lower Park Gardens