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New bid in fight to stop sale of Ryedale Indoor Bowls Club
CAMPAIGNERS are to raise questions over the sale of Ryedale Indoor Bowls Club at the full meeting of the district council tomorrow (Thursday).
Club members hope the move will generate a special meeting in their continued fight to prevent the closure of the facility.
Terry Wray, who will ask 11 questions, followed by fellow member, Harry Davies, said they hoped to prompt a reaction from councillors.
Members of Ryedale District Council voted to sell the site last September following a report which said the club’s survival had only been secured by the council halving the annual rent to £10,000.
“The bowling club is not on the agenda but we will be asking questions during the public session to council members,” said Mr Wray.
“If they continue to press ahead with the decision to sell the bowls club, it will eventually be knocked down and the site developed for something else. We have to work at looking at the potential uses of the building as a community facility, while retaining it as a bowling club.”
Mr Wray said his questions would challenge whether the council’s decision to sell the bowls club was consistent with the its mission statement on providing sport and recreational facilities for all age groups and abilities in Ryedale. “The report produced by Paul Cresswell for the council meeting last September, in conjunction with the proposal to sell the building, also takes no account of visitor numbers or variety of uses the building offers the community,” he said.
“As owners of one of the country’s largest and finest indoor bowling rinks, I will also question why the council has never promoted or taken any pride in this ownership through its website or any other media, whereas all other subsidised amenites do, including the new sports centre at Malton School, which is not owned by Ryedale District Council.”
Bowling club chairman Tom Nairn said members would be at the meeting to show their support. “We are continuing to put the pressure on and will have to wait to see how the councillors react,” he said.
“This is a bit of a marathon rather than a sprint and at present we have been behaving reasonably to persuade them to reconsider and do the decent thing.
“However, we may have to adapt that strategy if they don’t listen and I know some members are pushing for legal action and bringing in the local Government ombudsman.”
Mr Nairn said he hoped some of the councillors looked at the public support and searched their conscience.
“This is not just about the money – this is a legacy to our children and grandchildren,” he said.