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Football pitches proposal turned down

Malvern Editorial 4th Nov, 2013 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

MALVERN Town Council has opted against recommendations from the FA to improve its football pitches which would have seen its budget increase by nearly £9,000 a year.

Instead the council has vowed to come up with more ‘sensible’ improvements which will be discussed at the operations committee in January.

It follows Football Association representatives making a presentation to the committee in September which detailed the state of the council’s five pitches in Victoria Park, Lower Howsell and Dukes Meadow.

The two pitches at Victoria Park were considered to have ‘badly worn’ goal mouths and it was suggested by an adviser from the Institute of Groundsmanship each could be moved on an annual basis to allow for repairs.

The FA’s proposed 12 month schedule for maintenance included works such as ‘top dressing’ each pitch with a minimum of 60 tonnes of sand on each pitch and cutting the grass at least once a week.

It was estimated the extra maintenance would cost £1,750 per pitch every year meaning the council would have to increase it annual budget by £8,750.

Charles Porter, the council’s operations manager, said the cost was ‘excessive’ and pointed out the ‘conflict’ between the FA’s requests and the fact the pitches were on land designated as open space.

Last Tuesday (October 29), the full council upheld the recommendations of the operations committee to investigate more cost-effective ways to improve the pitches.

Mayor Julian Roskams added: “The budget figure was not agreed as it is hoped to make sensible improvements without spending such a large amount of money.”

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