Sally Wainman has written a couple of very good comments in regards to Ipswich Labour’s plans for Ransomes sports Club on my post here
The Council didn’t try and negotiate with the Club to sort any problems out, instead they held a meeting back in February on the closed part of an Executive agenda and resolved then to give the club notice to quit. The only possible reason for this was because Ransomes Sports Club had already been earmarked for housing. (The Club itself had no idea this resolution had been passed)
The report considered back in February shows that the Council don’t have the slightest interest in running it; it will be taken over, ran badly and then the Council will say how sorry they are it hasn’t worked out and housing will go up. It will prove “uneconomic” to keep the club going as a Sports Club.
If IBC want to dispute this view then why not register the sports fields under the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge to formerly protect Ransomes? At the moment they have not registered any area for the Challenge.
There is absolutely nothing to suggest that Sally’s view is inaccurate.
The Club didn’t have a lease so they could not possibly have broken its non-existent terms!
They were however included in the Community Rents review which IBC debated at the beginning of this year: rent discounts for community groups. The Council gave specific assurances about consulting the groups affected but Ransomes were never contacted; they did not even know that such a review was taking place. They did not know either that the future of Ransomes had been placed on the closed part of the agenda for the February Executive meeting and were therefore kept in the dark throughout.
IBC could have chosen to help Ransomes with a grant; they could have offered advice and expertise, instead they chose to secretly vote through a resolution to serve a notice to quit and the only possible reason for this is housing. Sport could have been debated openly, but plans to cover the sports ground with council housing had to be kept under wraps.
I believe that this is definitely the case. At the beginning of this week I Emailed the politburo holder for culture, Dame Bryony. I reprint the Email below.
Ransomes Sports Club
TO: 1 recipient
Dear Councillor Rudkin,
In Fridays Ipswich Star you are quoted as saying this concerning Ransomes Sports Club “Both the bowls green and the former county cricket square have been allowed to fall into disrepair or have not been maintained to the required standard and the table tennis club has left”
What plans have Ipswich Borough Council got in place to bring the bowls green and the cricket square to ‘the required standard’?
You also said “We also believe that under the wing of the Council there is a better opportunity in the current economic climate to procure external funding to enhance and expand the facility.”
How is Ipswich Borough Council planning to procure external funding and from who?
I haven’t had a reply.
Why haven’t I received a reply?
The most obvious explanation is that there are no plans in place to bring the bowls green and the cricket square to ‘the required standard’ and there are no plans to procure external funding from anybody.
Because they want the land for housing.