Sport must be run in the interests of those
who participate in it and love it, not just for a privileged few. We will put
community sports clubs at the centre of sports provision and will rebalance
investment in sports and leisure so that all communities in Uttlesford are
close to high quality facilities.
Uttlesford District Council has focused all its sports provision investment in and around Saffron Walden to the expense of other settlements in the district. There are a plethora of football, rugby and cricket clubs as well as running and cycling groups throughout the district.
While UDC is planning to invest £500,000 in a running track at Carver Barracks in Wimbish, residents at the other end of the district look to Braintree, Chelmsford, Bishop’s Stortford and Harlow for their needs. Meanwhile, community sports facilities lack capital investment.
Uttlesford Labour considers community sports groups as fundamental to boosting participation in sport for people of all ages as well as fostering a sense of community identity.
For example, Stansted and Takeley football clubs are set to be promoted from the Essex Senior League to a higher division in the 2019/20 season. Promotion brings with it the opportunity to expand club activities with veterans and juniors football teams, more sponsorship opportunities, investment in skills, etc. Yet, promotion is dependent on meeting certain standards. UDC should help all the sports clubs reach the standards required to grow, improve and bolster local talent.
Uttlesford Labour believes we should improve what we have, rather than aim for a massive investment in one single facility in one community that will be mostly used by just one-third of the district’s population. We also want to involve all local clubs covering football, rugby, cricket, cycling and athletics in a sports forum to examine the areas of greatest need and channel investment via grants. We believe more people will benefit from spreading investment through capital grants in community sports groups than investment in one sports and leisure facility in one part of Uttlesford.