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Agenda item

Notice of Motion given by Councillor Pauline Andrews

That this Council:-

 

(a)       calls on the Administration to support Chapeltown Juniors Football Club, established in 1983, to enable them to take over the lease from the City Council for the Steel City Sports Ground and clubhouse on Shiregreen Lane;

 

(b)       notes that the lease of this site is available due to the previous tenant leaving in February 2014, and that although there are a few groups that still use the grounds to train, this isn't a problem as access could be negotiated;

 

(c)        recognises the need for good quality football training to take place and be increased, or our great sporting city of Sheffield will be left behind, and notes that Chapeltown Juniors play in Sheffield & District Junior Sunday League, which is possibly the biggest junior league in Europe;

 

(d)       notes that, for 29 years, the Football Club has played in Ecclesfield Park, which is a public park and is no longer suitable for the Club, as it is not big enough to meet the needs of 140 children, enabling them to move forward, play and progress, and also to develop the players;

 

(e)       believes that physical education is just as important as being academic and should be part of the learning and understanding skills for everyday life, and that physical development of young people promotes a healthy, moral, mental, positive attitude as well as self-discipline and self-worth;

 

(f)        calls upon the Administration to support the coaches and officials of the Football Club to carry on their great work in training these children and young people aged 5 to 18 years, noting that the Club officials are committed and deserve recognition for giving up their own free time which cannot be easy, when working full time;

 

(g)       welcomes that the site and the building would continue to be used, focusing on sport, and that the site could also be used for many other sporting activities such as cricket, bowls and other field sports, as well as the hub of community life, incorporating into the social club, activities such as lunch clubs, meeting places, weddings, parties, youth activities, older people's clubs, and back to work clubs;

 

(h)       further notes the backing of the Football Association, Children's Hospital Charity, Unison, Sheffield F.A., South Yorkshire Police and Fire and Rescue, and that funding is available to support the project, but it cannot proceed forward without the support of the Council and a proposed lease;

 

(i)         is concerned and bemused that, despite numerous meetings with Councillors and officers from the Parks and Countryside Service, the project seems to have come to a standstill, whereas officials of the Club are very keen to push this forward which would be a great asset to the Shiregreen community, with the potential to bring jobs, but without the Council’s support for the lease, applications for funding cannot proceed;

 

(j)         is further concerned that, as the months go by, the site may fall into further disrepair, being vandalised and trashed, costing more money to restore the grounds or repair the building; and

 

(k)        welcomes the Club’s aim to start a girls/women's football team, and also a football team for people with disabilities, and, for the less active, a walking team aimed at the over 50s, to enhance their quality of life.

Minutes:

 

Future Of Steel City Sports Ground

 

 

 

It was moved by Councillor Pauline Andrews, seconded by Councillor Jack Clarkson, that this Council:-

 

 

 

(a)         calls on the Administration to support Chapeltown Juniors Football Club, established in 1983, to enable them to take over the lease from the City Council for the Steel City Sports Ground and clubhouse on Shiregreen Lane;

 

(b)         notes that the lease of this site is available due to the previous tenant leaving in February 2014, and that although there are a few groups that still use the grounds to train, this isn't a problem as access could be negotiated;

 

(c)         recognises the need for good quality football training to take place and be increased, or our great sporting city of Sheffield will be left behind, and notes that Chapeltown Juniors play in Sheffield & District Junior Sunday League, which is possibly the biggest junior league in Europe;

 

(d)         notes that, for 29 years, the Football Club has played in Ecclesfield Park, which is a public park and is no longer suitable for the Club, as it is not big enough to meet the needs of 140 children, enabling them to move forward, play and progress, and also to develop the players;

 

(e)         believes that physical education is just as important as being academic and should be part of the learning and understanding skills for everyday life, and that physical development of young people promotes a healthy, moral, mental, positive attitude as well as self-discipline and self-worth;

 

(f)          calls upon the Administration to support the coaches and officials of the Football Club to carry on their great work in training these children and young people aged 5 to 18 years, noting that the Club officials are committed and deserve recognition for giving up their own free time which cannot be easy, when working full time;

 

(g)         welcomes that the site and the building would continue to be used, focusing on sport, and that the site could also be used for many other sporting activities such as cricket, bowls and other field sports, as well as the hub of community life, incorporating into the social club, activities such as lunch clubs, meeting places, weddings, parties, youth activities, older people's clubs, and back to work clubs;

 

(h)         further notes the backing of the Football Association, Children's Hospital Charity, Unison, Sheffield F.A., South Yorkshire Police and Fire and Rescue, and that funding is available to support the project, but it cannot proceed forward without the support of the Council and a proposed lease;

 

(i)          is concerned and bemused that, despite numerous meetings with Councillors and officers from the Parks and Countryside Service, the project seems to have come to a standstill, whereas officials of the Club are very keen to push this forward which would be a great asset to the Shiregreen community, with the potential to bring jobs, but without the Council’s support for the lease, applications for funding cannot proceed;

 

(j)          is further concerned that, as the months go by, the site may fall into further disrepair, being vandalised and trashed, costing more money to restore the grounds or repair the building; and

 

(k)         welcomes the Club’s aim to start a girls/women's football team, and also a football team for people with disabilities, and, for the less active, a walking team aimed at the over 50s, to enhance their quality of life.

 

 

 

Whereupon, it was moved by Councillor Alan Law, seconded by Councillor Peter Price, as an amendment, that the Motion now submitted be amended by the deletion of all the words after the words “That this Council” and the addition of the following words:-

 

 

 

(a)      notes that football is a major participation sport in the city, with over 800 teams, of which over 500 are junior/youth teams;

 

(b)      regrets that, in common with other core cities, Sheffield’s football pitches and changing facilities are under severe pressure from Government budget cuts;

 

(c)       welcomes that the governing body for football in England, The Football Association, has recognised these pressures on grassroots football and in response has launched a national initiative to invest in grassroots facilities;

 

(d)      further welcomes the decision of the FA that Sheffield should be the first city in which they deliver their programme;

 

(e)      further welcomes the investment of £9.6 million to support grassroots football that this partnership will bring to Sheffield, as set out in the report to Cabinet on 12 November 2014;

 

(f)       recognises the importance of local football clubs across the city, including Chapletown Juniors, in providing sport and is pleased to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers who make this possible;

 

(g)      notes that officers of the Council and local councillors have been working with Chapletown Juniors and the local community around the Steel City Ground to secure the immediate and long term future of the site and building;

 

(h)      notes that following a positive meeting on Wednesday 28th January 2015, there is a consensus between the different local interests now to work together to secure that future; and

 

(i)        instructs officers to continue to work with local elected Members, the football clubs who use the site and the community to seek a sustainable solution to the mutual benefit, and with the agreement of, interested parties.

 

 

 

On being put to the vote, the amendment was carried.

 

 

 

The original Motion, as amended, was then put as a Substantive Motion in the following form and carried:-

 

 

 

RESOLVED: That this Council:-

 

 

 

(a)       notes that football is a major participation sport in the city, with over 800 teams, of which over 500 are junior/youth teams;

 

 

 

(b)       regrets that, in common with other core cities, Sheffield’s football pitches and changing facilities are under severe pressure from Government budget cuts;

 

 

 

(c)        welcomes that the governing body for football in England, The Football Association, has recognised these pressures on grassroots football and in response has launched a national initiative to invest in grassroots facilities;

 

 

 

(d)       further welcomes the decision of the FA that Sheffield should be the first city in which they deliver their programme;

 

 

 

(e)       further welcomes the investment of £9.6 million to support grassroots football that this partnership will bring to Sheffield, as set out in the report to Cabinet on 12 November 2014;

 

 

 

(f)        recognises the importance of local football clubs across the city, including Chapletown Juniors, in providing sport and is pleased to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers who make this possible;

 

 

 

(g)       notes that officers of the Council and local councillors have been working with Chapletown Juniors and the local community around the Steel City Ground to secure the immediate and long term future of the site and building;

 

 

 

(h)       notes that following a positive meeting on Wednesday 28th January 2015, there is a consensus between the different local interests now to work together to secure that future; and

 

 

 

(i)         instructs officers to continue to work with local elected Members, the football clubs who use the site and the community to seek a sustainable solution to the mutual benefit, and with the agreement of, interested parties.