Report of Group Director of Services
The Group Director of Services submitted a report (previously circulated) requesting that Members give consideration to the updated Playing Pitch and Built Facilities Strategy (also previously circulated), prior to its consideration at Cabinet on 7 September 2021.
It was reported that the Sports Facilities Strategy which was previously published in 2014 had been updated to give consideration to the indoor and outdoor sports facilities; set out the strategic direction and site-specific priorities for the future delivery of sports facilities across the Borough until 2031; and the strategy would remain a valid document for the period 2021-2025.
Reference was made to the significant improvement and investments as a result of the existing playing pitch and sports facilities strategy. Details were also provided of the vision of the strategy; key drivers for the strategy refresh; and that an updated project action plan would be used to monitor the delivery of required actions.
Discussion ensued in respect of the provision of play and street sports facilities, including but not limited to bike tracks and skate parks; Members recognised the requirement for a strategy to oversee these facilities. In addressing Members concern regarding the condition of a number of pitches across the town, the Head of Culture informed Members that the strategy would focus on a hierarchy of facilities, prioritising strategic hub sites; that £70K of equipment had been received from the FA to maintain the pitches at two hub sites; and that the Council would continue to maintain single pitches.
Discussion also ensued in respect of funding opportunities; Members proposed that the Covid Funding could be used towards the provision and improvement of sports facilities in Darlington; and Members also made reference to the lack of clarity within the Strategy in respect of disabled sports provision in Darlington.
RESOLVED – (a) That the report be received.
(b) That be Cabinet be advised of this Scrutiny’s view that:
(i) consideration should be given to the introduction of a Street Sports and Play Strategy.
(ii) consideration should be given to the utilisation of the Covid Funding towards the provision and improvement of sports facilities in Darlington.
(iii) a paragraph be included in the Strategy, providing clear, explicit information in respect of the disabled sports provision in Darlington.