Sunday, 27 March 2011

It's game over for tennis

I guess as part of the Council's budget slashing exercise, we will have to pay to exercise soon.

We will be required to pay to use our tennis courts. I saw a notice at the Plumstead Common courts this morning setting out the fees.

Not sure how we're expected to pay though. Are Greenwich Council going make cuts by paying £15,000 to someone to take £6.50 at the tennis court gate?

Regardless of the maths, the tennis courts are well used and I dare say, much less used because we now have to pay. Doesn't my council tax go towards the upkeep of these courts anyway?

So much for Greenwich encouraging us to get fit.


Anonymous said...

I saw the same thing myself today and I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who feels strongly about this.
It is ridiculous and we shouldn't just sit back and let it happen.

For now I have started a thread on the London Tennis forums and I'll be looking into setting up an online petition, as well as talking to the press and the council this week.

Thanks for taking the time to comment about this and upload a picture. I hope you don't mind, but I've directed people to your picture as I didn't think to take one myself.

You can see the forum post here.

I'm not sure if non-members can see the forums, but I think so.

If you'd like to know more or to keep in touch, I can be reached at:


Anonymous said...

I am absolutely outraged by this I have written to Chris Roberts and the Mercury news room. WE are not a Royal Park like Greenwich who charges £8 per hour to use it courts. We are poor old Plumstead.

Anonymous said...

Is this not effectively an 'enclosure' by any other name of a public space - if its no longer free, its no longer Common land?

Maybe need to have a look at the Commons Act? Or take inspiration from what led to that Act in the 19C in the first place? How can/will this be enforced - nothing on the sign to explain (saw this earlier ourselves too)

Anonymous said...

Outraged. That's the word I've been looking for. Disgusted works for me too.
Glad to hear someone's already started writing in. The more people that do so, the more chance we have of getting this ridiculous idea overturned.

And yes, the last poster has a good point about the commons laws. We'll have to see.


Doctor Pangloss said...


Have you seen this article? Or did you alert to 'TENNISGATE'?

Have you set up a petition? If so, I'll mention it in a new blog post.

NIck Day (PCEG) said...

This is absurd, stupid and ridiculous. The council seem bent on hurting the people so we all realise how we shouldn't have voted the Tories in! Well actually we voted Nick Raynsford in - so I wonder what he will say to the council?? I robustly oppose this. The council seem unrepentant in their response to me. I suggest a symbolic "play-in" witht he press invited to shame and ridicule the council. Anyone up for that?

Doctor Pangloss said...

A play-in is an excellent idea. Great photo opportunity too. Let's do it.

I just can't see how they are going to collect the court fees from the players. Are they going to erect a shed and sit someone in it all day long? At best, the court fees will pay for the shed, but not the poor sod who has to sit in the thing with just a tin pot for their early morning constitutional.

Oh no, that's clearly absurd. I guess the existing park wardens will come round with a collecting tin because I suppose the powers that be think they have nothing to do all day long.

No joined up thinking.

Anonymous said...

I live in St Johns terrace a stones throw from the tennis courts on Plumstead Common. I noticed last weekend that the sign had appeared stating that charges would apply for the court from the 1st April and was totally gobsmacked, firstly by the stance of a so called Olympic borough deciding to impose a charge for courts a year before the Olympics are due to start and secondly how high the charges were. £7.30 an hour for adults!

How can a charge of that much be justified – it’s a hard tennis court. The most the council has to do with it is maybe push a broom round now and again. Maybe a nominal charge for upkeep I could live with but they are clearly seeing this as money making opportunity. Although I suspect what will happen is no one will use the court and it will just be a waste, when it could have continued to be used by the community.

After being able to see the courts from my house I can confirm that as long as weather permits they are always extremely busy and well used by all parts of the community from youngsters through to adults of all ages. It is quite obvious to me that any charge will cut massively the number of people young and old who use the courts. Then there is the question of how is charge going to be imposed?

Will the £7.30 an hour I will have to pay to play on a hard court with a slightly droopy net be used to pay for a council worker to sit in a hut next to the courts drinking tea and clocking people in and out? Or will it be as I suspect be run via the bowling green (which has got Olympic legacy status) by one of the council staff that seem to be there everyday making sure it has a perfect surface that a rival Wimbledon centre court.

Also there is no doubt that by enforcing this charge the courts will be locked for prolonged periods of time – restricting access to what should be a free open space.

Will said...

Upsetting to see, when have gone passed it always looked in need of tennis court repairs!