I live very close to Buile Hill Park in Salford and use the park every day (to walk Dexter, my dog). It’s a beautiful park and I consider myself extremely lucky to live near such a great open space (in fact, luck had little to do with it, I specifically moved here because of the proximity to the park).
Over the last few weeks, without any consultation or notice to Buile Hill Park’s regular users, work began to tear up a large section of the grass seen in the picture below to install a cricket pitch. A 20m long section of natural grass was cut out and replaced with artificial grass.
Many of the park users were surprised when the work started, firstly because we knew nothing about it until the work had started. Secondly, many of us thought it was an odd location for the cricket pitch. The crease was mere centimetres from one of the goalposts that make up a set heavily used by local youths. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen local kids playing cricket in Buile Hill Park (once), whereas there are lads playing football almost every day it is dry. It seemed impossible for a game of cricket and a football match to be played at the same time, given the proximity of the crease to the goalpost.
On Thursday afternoon I noticed the goalposts have disappeared. Who has stolen our goalposts? They belong to the park and were installed for the benefit of the users of Buile Hill Park. Nobody has any right to take them away without asking us first.
I have brought this up with Langworthy’s Lib Dem Councillor Drake who has started to probe the council for answers. I fear we won’t know who is responsible until after the election.
I have nothing against cricket (regular visitors to my blog will know I am a big football fan) and if both cricket and football pitches can be accomodated in Buile Hill Park I would be happy to have them co-exist, but damaging the park and making wholesale alterations without notifying it’s users is just not on.
Salford Council needs to learn that consultation with it’s residents over important changes is vital and necessary. My fear is that if Labour wipe out opposition members off the council at the local elections in less than 2 weeks time, this kind of totalitarionistic approach will be all to common across our great city.