Venue: Civic Suite, Pathfinder House, St Mary's Street, Huntingdon PE29 3TN
Contact: Mrs Lisa Jablonska, Elections and Democratic Services Manager, Tel No. 01480 388004/e-mail Lisa.Jablonska@huntingdonshire.gov.uk
Note: (ON THE RISING OF THE CABINET)
To receive from Members declarations as to disclosable pecuniary and other interests in relation to any Agenda Item.
Mr J Dewis will present a petition on behalf of 158 signatories regarding the proposed closure of St Ives Squash Courts. The petition statement is as follows:-
“It has recently been advised that Huntingdon District Council has decided to close all the squash courts at the One Leisure St. Ives Outdoor Centre. This would have a devastating effect on the participation levels in the St. Ives area.
This was advised to the St. Ivo Racquets Club (’the club’), the squash and racket ball club based in St. Ives, which operates from the courts. The club aims to encourage affordable community participation in squash and racket ball sports, for social through to county-standard players and from junior to senior levels. It is not-for-profit, run by volunteers.
The club has been advised in a letter from One Leisure dated Friday 22 March 2019, that is after the decision had already been made by the Council. The club has still to view any public records related to this decision. The club is extremely concerned about the lack of a public consultation process prior to this decision being made. Neither the club, representing the largest single group of players, nor individual users have been afforded an opportunity to present the case to continue supporting squash and racket ball facilities in St. Ives.
St. Ives has a long and proud history of squash and racket ball, the St. Ivo Racquets Club formed in 1975. The club has a very low membership fees to encourage participation from the whole community, activities include weekly club nights open to all, where coaching is provided. The club runs two county standard teams, the first team won the Cambridgeshire 2nd division title in March 2019. The courts in St. Ives are some of the last publicly accessible courts in the area. Children have immediate access to affordable facilities for a rewarding sport, which can prepare them both physically and mentally for the future. The sport is universally accepted as a fantastic fitness work out, and its appeal stretches across the ages from the youngest just old enough to hold a racket to those in their seventies. However, courts are needed in St. Ives to provide good local community access.
A functional training facility is proposed in place of the four squash courts. Neither a sporting nor business case for this change of use has been made public yet. There is already a One Leisure gym in St. Ives, the result of a recent multi-million-pound investment.
The last public courts in the area would be two courts at Huntingdon. The additional time and distance for St. Ives based players to travel would inevitably lead to a further decline in participation when the community should expect the opposite for the good of the health and well-being of our community. If the proposed closure goes ahead, St. Ives would have been reduced from eight to no courts in a relatively short time, and Huntingdon / St. Ives combined reduced from ten courts to ... view the full agenda text for item 2.
Executive Councillor for Housing, Planning and Economic Development to present a report seeking approval to adopt the Huntingdonshire Local Plan 2036, including main modifications and the Huntingdonshire Local Plan Policies Map.
(A copy of Appendices 1-3 are attached separately to the Agenda).