I HAVE been a member of Ryedale Indoor Bowls Club since I retired 15 years ago.

I was horrified to learn that all the Conservative district councillors have voted to close the facility next year.

While I appreciate that the district councillors have a duty to reduce expenditure in view of the national economic situation bequeathed to the Conservatives by the previous government, this apparently-hasty decision seems to have been taken without proper consideration of all the factors.

Such information as has been published seems incomplete and inaccurate.

The value of this facility at Norton has clearly been underestimated by the council.

It extends far beyond mere shortterm financial considerations. The council has a responsibility to look to the future.

For years now the Government has been endeavouring to encourage more healthy lifestyles, particularly for the elderly.

There is little doubt that when the economy improves, as the Conservatives would have us believe it will and indeed must, the need for suitable facilities will again be on the Council’s agenda. Indeed the demand for leisure facilities in Ryedale already appears regularly in the local newspapers.

The Council must take some of the responsibility if it is considered the facility is not at present used to its full potential.

The building is capable of absorbing many more activities and events with unrivalled parking, without even considering the increased potential for including other sports with a minimal internal reorganisation – a much cheaper long-term option than building new, even if a comparable site could be found.

As councillors I would expect you to be looking to the future social and activity needs of your rapidlygrowing number of elderly constituents and not just blindly following a short term dogma.

The recent decision must be urgently reconsidered before the damage which has already been done, in causing the cancellation of a number of events next year, is exacerbated further.

I would urge you to re-open the council debate urgently and reverse the decision.

Geoff Lloyd, Pickering