Vale rejects call to boost leisure facilities in area

The Oxford Times: Cllr Debby Hallett at Louie Memorial Playing Fields, Botley Cllr Debby Hallett at Louie Memorial Playing Fields, Botley

CALLS for more investment into leisure facilities in North Hinksey and Botley have been rejected.

Vale of White Horse district councillor for Cumnor Judy Roberts asked council leader Matthew Barber for £15,000 to look into providing new facilities in what she called a deprived area.

But councillors voted 24 to 21 to reject the proposal.

The Oxford Times:

Vale of White Horse district councillor for Cumnor Judy Roberts

Mrs Roberts said: “In 2009, Sport England identified a shortfall of sports facilities in the North Hinksey and Cumnor area.

“Doric has added a gym to its plans for the West Way, but the Vale does not consider this a priority area.”

She asked Mr Barber for £15,000 of the Vale’s £12m budget for 2014-15 to carry out a feasibility study into providing new facilities.

She said: “This is one of the few areas in the Vale of multiple deprivation.

“At a time when both adults and children are being encouraged to increase the amount of exercise they do, this would be a good time to look into it.”

Mrs Roberts made her appeal at a meeting in Wantage Civic Hall on Wednesday, February 19, where the Vale agreed its budget for next year.

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Councillor Debby Hallett, for North Hinksey and Wytham, seconded Mrs Roberts’ calls. She said: “I am concerned that the historic deficiency of sport facilities in Botley isn’t being addressed.

“Over the years Botley and Cumnor, this whole area of Oxford, has been left to fall behind in terms of leisure and sports facilities. This time, we saw an opportunity because we knew there was extra money in the budget so we thought we had a chance.

“I was really surprised they didn’t pass it. There is a lot of support for a skate park.

“The children here skateboard down the various roads and under the A34 flyover. If they had a place to play they would be much safer and happier.”

“Other centres in the Vale have leisure centres, parks and skate parks, but there is nothing for people in Botley.”

Mr Barber refused to respond to the suggestion at the meeting.

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