BACK COMMON TENNIS COURTS
details bureaucratic failings that have led to courts being neglected for years.
report to be presented to this week's Chiswick Area Committee will detail what
one Councillor has described a "depressing tale of inaction and incompetence"
report investigates just why the Tennis Courts on Chiswick Common have remained
neglected despite consistent complaints from local residents and councillors.
Chiswick Area Committee referred the matter to the Council's Overview and Scrutiny
Panel earlier this year and the report will be going
before this panel on Thursday.
Peter Thompson said, "The bottom line seems to be that the project got lost
in the system!"
decision to award a management contract for the courts was made back in 1995 but
virtually no progess has been made since then. Since June 2000 there have been
4 written reports to CAC Monitoring regarding the proposal.
depressing tale of inaction and incompetence"
Cllr. Peter Thompson on
the Tennis court report
Leisure had been accepted as the Council's partner to develop the courts. They
had agreed to provide the capital investment necessary in order to upgrade them
in return for the right to offer professional tennis training on the site. They
have been operating a similar scheme in Barnes since 1992.
because Council officers were not aware that Chiswick Back Common was registered
as Common Land (despite the enormous clue in its name) significant delays occured
in the hand over process.
the agreement finally comes into fruition TFC Leisure will develop the three new
tennis courts, renovate the existing ones, provide floodlighting and changing
facilities. The second stage of the process will involve building a tennis centre.
report is critical of both Council Officers and CIP, who took over responsibility
for the courts, with the other functions of the Council Leisure department. It
states "The project, whilst being recognised as being important to the local
community, represented a small scale development involving an external company
and therefore, in the context of competing demands at the time, failed to have
the necessary resource or focus within the Council and subsequently CIP."
highlights the lack of co-ordination between different departments involved in
the project and is critical of the fact that at no point was one officer given
responsibility to see the project through.
report states that it often took several months for action to be taken and admits
that the project "was not given the highest priority by all the departments
and agencies involved."
is recommended that a project plan is drawn up for the tennis courts and a lead
member of the Council be given responsibility for monitoring progress.
the conclusion of the report there is still no indication as to when work will
start on the courts. TFC sought to obtain Planning Permission for the proposed
development before entering into detailed negotiations with the Council in 1999.
The negotiations have been protracted due to the need to create an extended Management
Agreement rather than a Lease. Before any agreement can be completed, it will
be necessary to obtain Ministerial Consent for the erection of floodlights to
the existing 7 courts, the construction of 3 new courts and for the erection of
a building on Common Land.
report on the tennis courts
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