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Worry over 'very poor' West Norfolk sports facilities survey response

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People and sports groups are being urged to get involved in research examining West Norfolk's facilities following what a report has described as a "very poor" initial response.

Borough council chiefs launched the study last month in a move which they claimed would provide the basis for future funding bids.

But concerns have emerged in a report published ahead of the authority's meeting next Monday, April 25.

Lynn Ladies training session at River Lane in King's Lynn.. (55225832)
Lynn Ladies training session at River Lane in King's Lynn.. (55225832)

People and communities portfolio holder Sam Sandell wrote: "At the time of writing my report, the response from the Sports Facilities questionnaire has been very poor.

"This survey aims to shape the future of the sports facilities and pitches within the borough, not just for now but for the future of our health and wellbeing of residents and visitors.

"This is a good project. Please encourage people to get involved and have their voices heard."

Sam Sandell
Sam Sandell

In recent months, questions have been raised about the council's approach to sports facilities, relating to plans for a new 3G facility at the River Lane site in Gaywood, plus its refusal to fund replacement pitches as part of the Parkway housing scheme.

But the authority's consultation webpage insists the study can shape the future for all potential users.

It said: "The research will help us, community organisations and sports clubs to apply for funds for new facilities because it will provide a ready-made bank of evidence to show what is needed.

"The research will specifically address disability provision and it will consider both structured (e.g. through clubs) and unstructured or free activities (e.g. access to walking/cycling trails).

"It won’t directly lead to the development of new facilities but it will enable the council to draw up strategies for how these facilities might be delivered.

"It will also mean that applications for grants and funding are more likely to succeed because they will be backed by strong evidence."

The study will remain open until May 17. It is expected that its findings will be reported to cabinet members later in the year.

Visit www.west-norfolk-gov.uk/sportsfacilityresearch to take part.

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