The Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport, was disgusted at the condition of the all-weather and shale pitches at Blaguegate Lane Playing Fields and has joined local MP Rosie Cooper in calling for more funding from West Lancs Borough Council to refurbish the shoddy pitches.
Andy visited West Lancashire recently to discuss some of the concerns of local residents with Rosie. During the visit Rosie took Andy to see the Blaguegate Lane football pitches. The all-weather and shale pitches at the site were closed in 2003 and plans were in place to redevelop the site as a new five-a-side centre. However these plans fell through and the pitches have now fallen into disrepair due to a refusal to commit funding to develop the site from West Lancs Borough Council.
“I have previously called on the council to make a decision on the future of this and other council-owned sports pitches in Skelmersdale which have also fallen into disrepair, but no action has followed. Here we have a perfect site for the development of good quality sporting facilities that would be well used by the local community, but instead it is left to decay. The council need to stop flip-flopping and invest in the future of these sites. I know that Andy’s department is keen to promote young people getting involved in sporting activity so I’m happy he has joined my calls for funding to be earmarked for the pitches.”
Speaking at the site, Andy Burnham commented:
“Playing sports is important in improving the health of our children and bringing communities together, but adequate facilities need to be available for this to happen. It is such a waste that this important community facility has been neglected and the council refuse to invest in developing the site. The pitches could be providing such a vital function for the local community here in Skelmersdale and I know Rosie is doing all she can to ensure the council prioritises this investment.”