Thoughts on the Council Executive Meeting of 30th July
(a long meeting of many parts)
Annual Report from Trafford Community Leisure Trust
Jo Cherrett from the trust gave very upbeat feedback speaking to a summary of the annual report. The trust has performed well over the year. Key achievements were:
- an increase of 10% in attendances,
- Swimming has increased against a national downward trend,
- Active Trafford – the leisure trusts concessionary scheme for the over 65s, disabled, unemployed and other groups achieved a 31% increase in attendances
I suppose what was missing for me was an indication of threats or missed opportunities that the Trust faces over the coming years. In Gorse Hill and the north of Trafford generally, one of the key pressures is the demand on football pitches – indications suggest demand is outstripping supply. Additionally there is often a tension between field users, whether they be dog walkers or those simply enjoying open spaces and the clubs who want to use the space. There could be another flashpoint developing at Lees Field in Davyhulme. We’ve certainly seen our share in Gorse Hill. It’s a challenge to councillors to try to reach a compromise. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we don’t.
Due to demand we’re seeing the option of investment in all weather pitches being adopted more and more. By definition these pitches are taking away some accessible grassed fieldspace but they do allow for more participation. Frustratingly, I still don’t see sufficient access to school fields or facilities. Stretford High School is to be applauded for pursuing the Stretford Sports Village vision with the leisure trust. I know it’s been controversial, I know there’s still grievance that some of it is on parkland, but I do look forward to seeing it in full swing and being fully utilised by school and community. The challenge now is to get more schools to fully commit to partnering their communities and to get more useage of their sporting facilities.