Plans to cut £100,000 from Barnet council's green spaces budget by making all the borough's bowling clubs self-managing and self-funding could threaten the future of a club for the blind and partially-sighted that has been running for 40 years. The Blind and Partially-Sighted Bowling Club members include a national champion of blind bowling, their Team Captain is 92 years old, and their oldest member is 100 years old. The Club plays at the Mill Hill and Barnet Bowling Clubs who currently allow them to use their bowling greens free of charge. But many of the Club's members may not be able to continue to play if Conservative-run Barnet council's plan to impose self-management on all bowling clubs leads to unaffordable charges.
Labour councillors are calling for the Club's future to be protected and have submitted a Member's Item on the issue to the 29 September Environment Committee.
Labour’s Environment Spokesperson, Cllr Alan Schneiderman said: “It would be shameful if any members of this Club were forced to stop playing because of these cuts, or if the future of the Club itself came under threat.
“All the Bowling Clubs were due to attend briefing meetings with the Council to find out how the £100,000 cuts will impact on them, but the meetings were cancelled at short notice and people have been left without any idea how they will be affected.
"We are asking for the Environment Committee to be updated with the latest plans for the bowling clubs, and are appealing to the Conservatives to ensure that the future of the Blind and Partially-Sighted Bowling Club is protected and that they are able to continue with their current arrangements for playing at Mill Hill and Barnet.”
1. Text and details of Cllr Schneiderman's member's item: http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s34784/Members%20Items.pdf
"Barnet's Conservative administration is aiming to save £100,000 by making all the borough's bowling clubs self-managing and self-funding with no subsidy from the Council. One of the bowling clubs affected is the Blind and Partially Sighted Bowling Club who do not have their own bowling green but play at the Mill Hill and Barnet bowling clubs. The Mill Hill and Barnet Clubs allow them to use their bowling greens without charge. The Blind and Partially Sighted Bowling Club has been running for 40 years, the oldest member of the club is 100 years old, the team captain is 92 years old, and another member of the club is a national champion. Many of the Club members may not be able to continue to play if plans to make the Mill Hill Club and Barnet Club self-managing and self-funding lead to unaffordable charges. I ask that the Environment Committee is updated with the latest plans for the Borough's bowling clubs and that, in particular, the Committee considers this Member’s Item to ensure that the future of the Blind and Partially Sighted Bowling Club is protected and that they are able to continue with their current arrangements for playing at Mill Hill and Barnet."
To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568