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Petition to save Gainsborough’s bowls hall from closure rejected by the council

Members of the bowls club at the full council meeting
Members of the bowls club at the full council meeting

Members of West Lindsey District Council rejected a petition presented by Gainsborough Bowls Club to try and save the closure of their indoor bowls hall.

The petition was presented at the full council meeting on April 9, after it was revealed the indoor bowls hall at West Lindsey Leisure Centre in The Avenue, Gainsborough, would be closed and replaced with a health and wellbeing hub.

After a discussion at the meeting the councillors voted to reject the proposal put forward in the petition.

Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Coun Jeff Summers, said: “I understand that some residents are disappointed with the changes we are planning to make at the leisure centre, which is shown with the petition and those that attended the full council meeting. However, this decision was not taken lightly but as a district council we have to provide services for a wide range of residents across our whole district in a way that provides value for money for all our tax payers.

“To demonstrate openness and transparency to the process I have circulated all council members a schedule of the process and a complete resume of the offer presently available to allow bowling to continue in our facility, on new mats free of charge for one year beginning 1 September to all bowling members.

“I see this as a positive solution to increasing the bowling membership and securing the future of this beneficial and valued sporting activity. We recognise the benefits of bowling to our communities and constantly strive to meet everyone’s needs.”

Chairman of the Prosperous Communities Committee, Coun Sheila Bibb, said: “We have offered solutions including transportation to visit alternative indoor bowls facilities at Dunholme and Scunthorpe at the expense of the council and free access to short mat bowls for a year at the leisure centre.

“I recognise that there is public concern about the proposed changes however the bowls hall is a vast space which is currently under utilised and has been for a number of years. Furthermore the usage has continued to decrease over recent years.

“This area will be transformed into a health and wellbeing hub which will not only provide traditional leisure and sporting opportunities, but will also provide specific health interventions.”

Bowls club member, Linda Grocock said: “We were very disappointed with the outcome at the full council meeting after our petition with nearly 2,000 signatures was dismissed as unimportant. We were hoping for a chance to suggest options to save the bowls club hall for ourselves and future generations.”