Town sporting offer a ‘disgrace’

A junior football manager has hit out at the ‘disgraceful’ lack of sports facilities in his town, which is leading to a demise in youngsters taking part.

Barry Paton currently runs one of the two remaining junior football teams based in Amble.

“We are trying to provide a facility for youngsters in the area which embraces exercise and a healthy pastime,” he said. “Unfortunately this is becoming increasingly difficult due to both economic pressure for using facilities and also the poor upkeep of the existing facilities.”

The teams tend to use the facilities at James Calvert Spence College (JCSC) during term-time, but their only option over the summer is Amble Welfare ‘which is of a very poor quality and as such there will be no football teams using this for the forthcoming season’.

“The income generated from the two teams that used this pitch paid to get the grass cut, but unfortunately now there is no income, there is no money to pay for this so the pitch will be left to decay and will be unusable,” added Barry.

Last November, Amble Town Council discussed the need for better football pitches in the town.

At the time, JCSC explained that union and county council rules dictate the fees required to pay site staff to give access to the school.

And last month, councillors called on funding from the proposed housing develoment at Marks Bridge to be used to develop facilities at Amble Welfare.

“I have once again seen the proposals for new facilities at Alnwick and feel my blood boil every time I hear it mentioned as the existing facilities are 10 times better than ours,” Barry said.

“Villages such as Longhoughton have fantastic facilities so I must ask the question as to why this is the case and why, as a much bigger place, do we in Amble have nothing?”

He also asked that anyone in the town that knows of a patch of land approximately 60yds x 40yds that is maintained to an acceptable standard available to use free of charge to contact him on barry-paton@sky.com