URGENT ACTION NEEDED to retain our Athletic Track within the Camborne-Pool-Redruth Area
Many TRC members use the track at Carn Brea for training, joining either CAC or Hayle Runners on a regular, weekly basis. You will also be aware that the track is used by other clubs and youngsters in the area west of Truro. Cornwall Council has agreed the sale of the track and adjacent land for retail development. Please read the following article by Alan Rowling of Cornwall AC, for more information and possible action.
Decision Day Looms for the Relocation of the Athletics Track at the Carn Brea Leisure Centre
Cornwall Council will shortly be deciding on whether to relocate the Carn Brea Athletics Track out of West Cornwall. We need to act NOW to keep this vital resource in our area!! Please contact by email, telephone or in person the Council’s Cabinet members (email address below), the councillors on the Partnerships Advisory Committee (email addresses below) AND your local councillor ASAP and urge them to keep our Athletics Track within the Camborne-Pool -Redruth (CPR) area. Our preferred option is Redruth School NOT Truro. Relocation to Truro would have a significant impact on our local communities, the athletes, our schools, clubs and families! If we lose it now, it will never come back! See the update below for more details.
A Brief History
Cornwall Council has received and accepted an offer to sell the site of the Athletics Track and adjacent land for retail development, which will feature a supermarket as its centrepiece. A part but not all of the proceeds will go towards refurbishing the Leisure Centre and re-siting the track. If the Leisure Centre is not refurbished using part of the proceeds from the sale of adjacent land, it is in danger of closing in the near future as insufficient funds will be available to cover essential maintenance costs. This could also mean the closure of the track within a few years when resurfacing will be required, hence the need to relocate.
At the beginning of the year on 6 February 2013, before the County Council elections in May, the Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee both voted in favour of retaining the Athletics track within CPR and also retaining all the proceeds from the sale of the site within this deprived area of the county!
After many months of requesting a meeting with Peter Marsh (Interim Corporate Director Environment at Cornwall Council), he finally agreed in September 2013 to meet with the Athletic Community, comprising all the main users of the athletics facility at Carn Brea. Two meetings were held in September. The first was with the committee of Cornwall Athletic Club and the second with the other users, including Cornwall Athletic Association, Cornwall Schools Athletic Association, Hayle Runners and Carn Runners. Two local County Councillors were also present at the second meeting and representatives from the Carn Brea Leisure Centre Trust were present at both meetings.
In his presentation to both meetings Peter Marsh (PM) informed those present that after investigating possible sites, there were no suitable sites available within the CPR area and his suggestion was to move to Richard Lander School, Truro. This school is located at Threemilestone, adjacent to Truro College.
When the meetings were opened for debate, there was unanimous agreement from both meetings that any relocation out of the CPR area would be totally inappropriate for the future of Cornish Athletics. Carn Brea provides a central athletic facility for the entire area west of Truro. Relocation to Truro would deprive a significant number of athletic users at Carn Brea of access to their chosen sport, especially those who live further west in the Penzance/St Ives area and the Helston/Mullion area. Cornwall Athletic Club, who is the main user of Carn Brea for training and competition, has a membership of around 250 and is one of the largest sports clubs in the county. Hayle Runners has a similar total membership. In the summer a large number of Primary and Secondary schools make use of the athletics facility at Carn Brea.
At the conclusion of both meetings, PM agreed to a more detailed analysis of the Redruth site and conduct a similar exercise at Richard Lander. A report on the suitability of Camborne had already been done. In another meeting between PM and Governors at Redruth School, PM stated that reports of the three site reports would then go to the Portfolio Holder at CC, Councillor Adam Paynter and his team, FOR A POLITICAL DECISION. The major concern of the Athletic Community west of Truro is that the CC preferred option would appear to be the Truro site, despite the fact that Cornwall’s only other Athletics track is at Par and therefore both facilities would then be even closer together, which raises questions about the future of Par.
The last meeting on this matter was held at New County Hall , when Ben Coleman (Development Manager Properties) met with representatives of UK Athletics, who expressed their concerns about relocating away from the CPR area and the consequences of such a move for athletic users in the West Cornwall.
What action is needed now?
Because the final ‘political’ decision seems to rest with our County Councillors, contact with your elected representative would seem to be a matter of urgency. I am sure they would value an update and be put in the picture. Cabinet members, who would comprise the various Portfolio Holders, members of the Partnerships Advisory Committee (they would advise Portfolio Holder Adam Paynter) and County Councillors within CPR would seem to be the priority.
Alan Rowling (CAC)
HOPE THIS HELPS:
Cornwall Council Cabinet Members
John Pollard (Chairman)
Cornwall Council Partnerships Advisory Committee
Armand Toms (Chairman)
Richard Buscombe (Vice-Chairman)
You can find your local councillor by entering your post code here and selecting your address- http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/