Labour’s co-lead for tourism, equalities, communities and culture, Cllr Amanda Grimshaw, has called for the use of sports facilities in the city to be cheaper for all. She makes her case below:
The Labour Group are committed to transforming Brighton & Hove into a health and wellbeing hub, a city synonymous with active lifestyles and healthy living, not just tagged with the ‘party town’ moniker.
As part of that, we want to see a joined-up network of sports facilities that are accessible, easy to use and get to and crucially are affordable for our residents.
As I’ve highlighted before, currently teams have to pay £85 for the use of council football pitches, which seems very high, particularly when this doesn’t always include the necessary facilities such as clean changing rooms. I understand that the prices for youth football is much lower (partly due to the lack of facilities), but we need to find a way to make our sporting facilities more affordable for adults too.
One thing the pandemic has reminded us of is the true value of exercise and enjoying our out- and in-door sporting facilities, and the net benefit to mental health that these facilities can provide.
A change.org petition has been started to improve the quality and maintenance of local football pitches, and considering the prices residents are charged to use them, and the urgency with which we should be encouraging and inducing active lifestyles, I think it’s a reasonable ask of the council.
The state of some of the pitches currently is dire, with pot/rabbit holes throughout, large bare patches, and even rusty and dangerous goal frames.
I am supporting residents who want to see cheaper sports facilities in Brighton & Hove and to see those facilities properly maintained and cared for. If we’re serious about becoming a leading health and wellbeing city – it’s vital we keep our eyes on goal and kickstart some progress in this area.
Councillor Amanda Grimshaw
Image: Creative Commons