Letter: Proponents of Uckfield pitch are forward-looking

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I refer to Cllr Marsh’s comments in your front page article on the ‘All Weather Pitch’ proposed for Uckfield.

I was on the town council General Purposes Committee for many years and chairman up to May, 2011.

Cllr Marsh complains that the all weather pitch should not be funded with public money.

This scheme has been given external grants, and I am sure Cllr Marsh is aware that grants are not usually given without the recipients having to obtain match funding.

It is usual for a council to show its support for a facility by giving some match funding.

Bearing in mind that for several years the town council was aware of the need for more leisure facilities of this type and had been planning for such an event, Cllr Marsh seems to be out of touch.

I would understand his comments more if the town council had increased its council tax by a large amount, but it has not done so. Any loan that it has taken out would be with the Public Loans Board, which charges a very low rate of interest and a long term to pay it off – therefore making very good business sense. The Hub is an example of providing a public facility for both young and older residents.

Its footprint is in a strategic position and should serve Uckfield residents well in the future, be it 10 or 50 years.

The ‘powers that be’ have ear-marked Uckfield for even more housing, whether you agree with that strategy or not.

The demographics of Uckfield show a much younger population than any other town in Wealden, so if anywhere needs facilities for the young and those who wish to keep fit, it is Uckfield.

A council should be visionary in its approach to facilities as well as responsive, within its financial constraints. It cannot stand still and bury its head in the sand.

Issues regarding the All Weather Pitch positioning are a matter for the planners.

Dorothy Sparks,

Former Uckfield

town councillor