I was somewhat bemused by your article detailing the allocation of funds to parishes under the Chichester District Council New Homes Bonus Scheme, October 25, Issue
While many of the awards seem appropriate in benefiting the local communities, the £6,857 for new equipment to maintain the Tangmere cricket pitch completely baffled me.
From my recollection, the last time Tangmere CC played was the summer of 2013, being disbanded in January, 2014, due to lack of local interest. Since then the 3m x 20m “pitch” area of grass has been maintained by cricket fanatic Cllr Oakley (the de facto teamless cricket captain), with the rest of the community playing field being maintained under a district council contract.
So the local Tangmere residents do not actually get any recreational use of this small strip of land bang in the middle of their community village green. On the very rare occasions the cricket green is hired out to Middleton/Priory Park CC’s (different district/parish), less than £100 of profit annually goes to the parish.
As I understand it, Cllr Oakley, a councillor at all levels of local government (parish/district/county, will be the sole user of “the new equipment”, being an incredibly expensive mower. It would take in the order of a century to recover the cost from the current occasional rental income.
And who benefits? Maybe Mr Oakley’s pride in keeping a neat trim, but certainly not locals. I would wager that if you asked residents how best to locally spend £6,857, cricket would not appear on the list!
So Tangmere CC is out for a duck, The parish council bowled a googly, and the district council needs a new umpire! Stop wasting taxpayers’ money on vanity projects – this is just not cricket!