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Would you play football here?-Player’s anger as football pitches are neglected by council in Spurs’ backyard

by Haringey Lib Dems on 18 June, 2013

Cllr Nigel Scott on the neglected football pitch at Pond Park

A Local football player in the borough has expressed their disappointment and anger that Haringey Council has neglected local pitches so much that many are not useable. Despite Haringey having one of the biggest football clubs in the country, just a short distance from the Spurs ground are football pitches that are so boggy they can’t be played on.

A draft report by Labour-run Haringey Council details the problems with local pitches and says that in many cases the council will not be making improvements any time soon. The report says some pitches are covered in broken glass and dogs mess, suffer from drainage problems, don’t have changing facilities and are poorly lit. The majority of pitches in the report need improvement or repair of some kind one of the few exceptions are the pitches at the Albert Road Recreation Ground, N10, which are considered the best in the borough.

Despite there being a strong demand for more pitches and lots of local football teams wanting to use the pitches only a small number are being brought up to a good standard by the council. In fact the council has recently removed goalposts at one site to stop it being used and two other sites have been left for so long they have become overgrown and are completely unusable.

The location of football pitches in the borough or owned by the council:

  • Muswell Hill Playing fields
  • Albert Road Recreation Ground
  • White Lane Recreation Ground (Pond Park)
  • White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre
  • Perth Road Playing Fields
  • Bull Lane Playing Fields
  • Down Lane Park
  • Markfield Park
  • Downhills Park
  • Lordship Recreational Ground
  • Chesnuts Park
  • Finsbury Park
  • Pasteur Gardens
  • Fortismere School
  • Woodside School
  • Highgate Wood School

Beyz Beyz, General Manager of London Romans FC, comments:

“I am deeply concerned that Haringey Council have expressed complete indifference towards the appalling state of Haringey’s football pitches. There are no changing facilities at White Hart Lane Recreation Ground at Pond Park where the team plays and the ones at the nearby Community Sports Centre are not fit for purpose. According to their own report there’s now every chance that one of us will land in dog mess if not broken glass when we play!

“As the Council have made it abundantly clear that they will not be improving these facilities we will very likely be moving the team elsewhere next season. Quite frankly, they are driving us out of the Borough.”

Cllr Nigel Scott, Lib Dem communities spokesperson, comments:

“There is clearly a demand for football pitches in the borough and we have plenty. Unfortunately the Labour run council has yet again neglected a local resource and has left some pitches in such a poor state that they are unusable. Naturally I am pleased that Albert Road?Rec in my ward is so good and well used and this is a credit to Robbie and the local Friends Group but I want to see every pitch brought up to this standard.?

“Spurs are a great asset to the borough and we should be using local enthusiasm for football and taking the opportunity that presents to get residents and particularly local kids out in the parks kicking a ball about.

“People in Haringey are more likely than the average Londoner to have health problems so the council?should be encouraging people to get outside and use local football pitches to get fit. It is time the Labour Council stopped making excuses and started getting the basics right.”

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