A decision on whether to close some of the city council’s bowling greens as part of wide-ranging budget cuts may have been delayed until early next year, but the clubs affected are not looking on that as any kind of reprieve.
With the council needing to save £36,000 a year on maintaining bowls greens and tennis courts, the clubs are expecting the axe to fall on at least four greens and so have begun to draw up contingency plans in a bid to secure their futures.
The greens at risk are at Werrington, East Community, Itter Park, Bushfield, Bretton and Central Park.
All told, the futures of eight clubs – Werrington, Bushfield, Bretton, Itter Park, East Community, Park Crescent Bowlers (formerly GPO), Central Park and Itter Park Senior Citizens – are under threat.
The challenge clubs face is producing proposals that will enable the council to achieve their budget cuts in this area without any of the greens having to be closed.
That means the future maintenance of some of the greens under the council’s control would become the responsibility of the clubs themselves, either by voluntary labour or engaging a greenkeeper or specialist company.
Whatever route the clubs decide to go down, it will prove a drain on financial resources, especially to those clubs with a small membership whose only option to survival may be to seek a green share scheme, either with one or more of the other threatened clubs or at a green outside the council structure.
In the English national competitions, Peterborough’s Howard Shipp is through to the area final of the over 50 triples after a 19-9 win over Cambridge Chesterton’s K. Chapman.
However, Joe Randall’s quartet were beaten 17-25 in the area quarter-final of the fours by Kevin Cash (Cambridge Chesterton).
After successive defeats, the Peterborough senior men’s team returned to winning ways in the Cambs League with a 73-58 victory away to Whittlesey.
Peterborough 73 (6), Whittlesey 58 (4) – (Peterborough rinks only):
Mick Fuller, Don Paul, Pete Harvey, Joe Martin won 23-8.
Les Sharp, Ivor Jackson, Don Sutton, Mick Linnell won 20-9.
Martin Hawkes, Terry English, Richard Day, Wilf Redhead lost 16-17.
Norman Gray, Jeff Clipston, Mick Greaves, Phil Afford lost 14-24.
City-based Catherine Popple, who plays out of the City of Ely club, has retained her place in the England indoor team bidding to win the British Isles international series at Stanley from March 6-8 for the seventh year in a row.