NO to astroturf – for time being at least


The Neighbourhood Partnership Board (NPB) has decided not to go ahead with the proposal to refurbish the astroturf at a cost of £166,000.
The decision came at this afternoon’s quarterly meeting following a three week public consultation via Vale Mail’s newspaper and website. “We cannot ignore the public opinion poll,” Peter Richmond told the meeting.
96% of votes in a Vale Mail opinion poll were against the proposal, though a number of lengthier comments on the website were in favour of the development. By the time of the meeting, 1,964 votes had been cast, and over 100 comments had been left on the site.
The NPB decided that work at the stadium to repair the stairlift and improve the toilet and sewage facilities should go ahead.
Committee members disputed whether the money to refurbish the astroturf had ever been available in the first place. “It was a survey to ask residents whether they would like the astroturf to be developed if we had the money,” Neighbourhood Manager Ruth Miller told the meeting.
“We haven’t identified the money to improve the astroturf – it would have to be found as part of the overall business plan for the whole area and can be reconsidered at a later stage as part of an overall proposal.”
Board member Pam Crocker told the meeting that if the astroturf were to be refurbished, it would need security measures, otherwise it would ‘be torn to shreds.’
In a written report presented to the meeting, Mike Sharpe said: “The whole culture of how things are managed must change…. If not, then the monies invested in the area will be a waste to the people of Castle Vale.”
He listed seven separate dates between February and August this year when he had observed Farnborough Road pitches being used without being paid for. On one occasion, when he spoke to the players, the response was: “If you fancy a game, just turn up, nobody says anything.”

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8 responses to “NO to astroturf – for time being at least

  1. I think this decision is very dissapointing. Why are people voting anonymously, why cant people have the balls to put real names!!
    Castle Vale will lose income over the years to come not just this season-and teams who use the playing fields have just shot themselves in the foot with playing fields fees set to rise as there will be no other funding avaliable once the council start making cuts. So looks like people of Castle Vale will be heading to Sutton, Stechford and other areas to use sports facility. Well Done People….!

  2. put your dummy back in!!!

  3. Shock your hiding behind your “anonymous”…..haha!!

  4. elaine feraday - lysander way

    well i am not anonymous but like the previous poster has said, put your dummy back in. grow up and accept the outcome. after all, the majority have spoken. i’m not sure why you are that bothered anyhow. it’s says above – for the time being at least, so in other words, the work will progress as planned regardless, it is just that they are waiting for the fuss to die down, thats all. as for heading to other areas, i dont see the problem with that. just proves that we would struggle to generate the income the yes voters have spoken about, because there are better options elsewhere. when star city was first built they expected that to transform the area of nechells, it didnt……..think on!!!!

  5. E. James - Hedley Croft

    This particular outcome is dissappointing – albeit for the time being.

    Nobody said that funding was available for the Astroturf, it was merely a question as to what people thought.

    With the proposed funding cuts that the Council are proposing and us on Castle Vale being twinned with Sutton Coldfield, it will be interesting to see people’s views in about a year or so when we are told that a minimum service on grass maintenence is carried out on the Farnborough Road.

    In terms of what Councillor Sharpe is saying about proposed cuts, you would think that the residents of the Vale would have stuck together on this Astro Turf proposal.

    People in general are not stupid and when it comes to maintenence of pitches and the Stadium facility for the future, the question will be, quite simple “where is the money going to come from”.

    One thing is for certain, there is not going to be monies available to maintain these facilities in the future.

    I do hope that those people who may have other agenda’s on Castle Vale start thinking about what we all could have for the future and not just saying no for the sake of it.

    One thing that is certain, Mr Sharpe is saying things must change in terms of how Farnborough Road is managed. He is quite right, it has been a free for all for years and now is the time that people, including Council Officers should be managing the area more closely.

    If people are turning up and playing football matches for nothing – Somebody surely should be asking th question. ?

  6. astroturf wont solve the crime issues we have on the estate though will it!!!! if you want luxuries like that, you pay for it.

  7. Although the astroturf would be beneficial there are more pressing issues with the playing field facilities eg changing rooms …. But in the long run it would be nice to have a sports facility like an all weather astroturf but it must be properly maintained.

  8. The site is in the condition it is in as it has not been maintained and is no longer secure. Those with the responsibility for managing the area should be doing just that! In an ideal world the money should be spent of upgrading or providing key facilities, those specifically that can generate an income, and pay for continued maintenance or improvements.
    There will be much less money around for several years to come, and everyone will notice differences. Luxuries such a grass cutting will be one, and there will be more fundemental cut backs to come. Those responsible for managing the Estates affairs need to play a very careful game, much has been achieved over recent years, but to keep the estate heading in the right direction they cannot take their eye off the ball. Comments about crime and other issues are been raised as big concerns, and do need to be dealt with. The key priorities are to ensure the estate is maintained at the level it is now (or better) at and not allow it to deteriorate, reductions in funding will have a big impact. My concern is, that the state of the astroturf pitches could be the tip of the iceberg. I certainly (and I’m sure most others as well) don’t want to see the Estate return to what is was.