The condition of council owned bowling greens has been a concern for all the bowling family for years. With the reduction of council services the greens are cut less frequently and essential maintenance is no longer being done.
A petition has been started to task the government with preventing councils from stopping funds to maintain bowling facilities (link). If you would like to help support bowlers using council greens then please consider signing the petition.
Since 2010 Bolton Council have cut the resources available for green maintenance by 40% and this led to a story in the Bolton News in June last year when the members of Astley Bridge Park took their complaints about the condition of their green to the local newspaper (link).
Bolton Council still support their greens but they have reduced their cutting schedule by 16%. This has resulted in the greens being much heavier to play. Further discussions are planned between the councils and clubs but with the current pressures on councils any area of spending that can be reduced is being reduced.
Only a few days ago Bradford Council confirmed huge cutbacks to their council services with £82 million to be wiped from annual services budget.
Bradford council have to their credit also announced they are setting up a fund to assist clubs to take over the maintenance themselves.
This echo’s the position of a number of councils across the country with the ‘Crescent’ bowling green in Liverpool now ‘leased’ from Sefton Council who have supported the clubs to take over the maintenance.
With increasing pressure on council budgets it is likely that bowlers across the country may have to take action to protect the greens they use. Whether it be signing petitions, complaining to council or ultimately taking over the maintenance of greens themselves.