Petitioners and residents ignored on tennis courts

18 Jun 2024
Photo of Bedford Tennis courts and wasted space

Work has almost finished at the tennis courts in Bedford Borough. After weeks of uncertainty, we now know that the courts will be administered by the National Tennis Association (NTA), who will initially take over the running of courts in Bedford Park, Mowsbury Park, Southfields and Allen Park. Linden Road, Addison Howard Park and Russell Park will follow once works on these courts are complete.

Court hire will cost £6 per hour for pay and play, and an annual household pass will be £40. Each site will have one court which is free for two hours on Sundays between 2 - 4 pm, but which also needs to be booked using the same service. 

Sadly at Bedford Park fears were realised - the number of courts has been reduced from nine to just three, leaving a huge margin of wasted space by the sides of the courts. 

Councillor Henry Vann, ward councillor for De Parys, commented, 

"The Conservative Mayor has demonstrated a complete contempt for residents and for a democratic vote of Councillors. If they had acted when residents first raised concerns there would have been plenty of space on the Bedford park site for retaining some free tennis courts. By deliberately ignoring this, we have lost nine free courts in Bedford Park, and have been left with three pay-to-play courts.

Claiming they don’t have the money for retaining valued free public facilities like this when – for example – they have given a million pounds to private sports clubs in a closed process is a nonsense. In fact, to see the Conservative administration start punning about 'advantages' in their latest press release as they ride roughshod over residents and petitioners’ concerns is pretty sickening."


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