Owen James is spot on except Chesterfield Borough Council does not own Queen’s Park or the Annex, they belong to the people of Chesterfield, given for their recreational use in perpetuity.
Cllr Amanda Serjeant and manager Mick Blythe seek to defend their decision to sell off our birthright, only intending us the owners a limited comment upon their fait accompli.
This is not good enough. I propose that the people of Chesterfield should have a proper say on every aspect of the current and future recreation provision in Queen’s Park and Annex.
I propose we stop spending money maintaining the massive area of Queen’s Park, that the Borough then pays a private cricket club to use for only two weeks of the year and build the new gymnasium/sports centre and swimming pool complex to replace the cricket pitch, pavilion and South Lodge. This would also be more accessible from Chesterfield’s bus and coach stations.
Chesterfield deserves an Olympic standard pool, not another sub-standard offering like the pool at Staveley.
All equipment should be the best. Whatever is decided must genuinely be by us, the people of Chesterfield, not just councillors and officers.
Perhaps Cllr Serjeant should ask herself what a boon these facilities would then be for the people she represents, and those she seeks to attract to Chesterfield.
The existing centre could be developed for roller or ice-skating.
Our answer to Chesterfield College being allowed to build premises for their own use must be a resounding NO. The Annex should be returned to its former glory for athletics with, if feasible, outdoor skateboard/BMX bike facilities.