Don't spend £1.7million on a 3g pitch in Peebles

When schools are struggling with resources and people are having to use foodbanks because of budget cuts, please dont spend all that money on a sports facility which will only be used by a tiny proportion of the people of one town in the Scottish Borders - particularly when the creation of a pitch is creating huge division in the town.

Why the contribution is important

In times of austerity, moeny should be spent to the benefit of many rather than the few, and priorites should be education and social care.

by FD on December 17, 2015 at 03:06PM

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Comments

  • Posted by jghsbrodiegirl December 17, 2015 at 16:09

    Sport and exercise is important for all but Peebles and Tweeddale already cater for a huge variety of sports.
    A 3G pitch is a nice idea, but there are so many cuts to services, not to mention to-day's press report of a shortage of teachers in this area and the need to have an advertising campaign to address this problem, as well as a crumbling High School not fit for purpose in this 21st century high-tec world!
    My lifelong interest has been animal welfare and the environment, but this year I have put aside my fundraising efforts for local rescue centres, my memberships of RSPB, Woodland Trust etc., and concentrated on putting any spare cash into local groups such as the Foodbank, - and actually helping individuals, some I have known for 40 years, pensioners like me - who are really struggling, after a lifetime of keeping their heads above water with low paid jobs - but find they cannot eat and have heating on, or cannot afford new glasses or decent footwear. They do not go out, even to the Old Folk's Treat in Peebles, as they cannot afford to have their hair done or get a festive outfit like their neighbour.
    One friend of 91 who worked helping people in hostels cannot herself get a carer at the moment and is having to pay out of the little she has for someone to help her with household tasks and keeping clothes clean etc. For many years she looked after a relative with learning disabilities and saved the Council probably hundreds of thousands of pounds!
    3 shops and the last mill have all closed recently in the town.
    £1.7million pounds is too much for one item, for a minority of the population - a minority too, of the sporting population of the area - at a time when cuts are biting deep in so many other areas of our life for young and old. I do wonder, with the annual cost of a nine-year old to play football at £80, what the increased cost to parents will be to pay for the use of a 3g pitch and 2 pairs of boots? Some kids just will not be able to go.
  • Posted by RW January 23, 2016 at 22:12

    SBC Executive Commitee agreed on the 29th Sept 2015 to increase the original budget of £1.1million for a 3G pitch in Peebles by £600,000 to build in Victoria Park which is an incredibly divisive issue. We have to ask if it is appropriate to spend such a large sum of money on one facility that would be used by a relatively small number of the population of the Scottish Borders. If this facility is built at Victoria Park it would duplicate changing rooms and car parking which are already available at three other sites (The Gytes, Haylodge Park and the new sports hub at the High School) and would be the fourth floodlit pitch in Peebles. Surely money can be saved by developing the existing facilities.
  • Posted by Ih January 31, 2016 at 08:12

    In times of austerity and financial difficulty it is always important to identify "Essential" and "Luxury" expenditure. As SBC are facing increasing pressure on the it's budget these are the decisions that have to be made. I would suggest that the plan to build a 3G Pitch in Peebles falls in to Luxury rather than the Essential category. There are many who make the argument that it is important to encourage healthy exercise and well being through sport but I would suggest that we are lucky in Peebles with our open spaces, countryside and current sporting facilities that there is sufficient opportunity for exercise without this expenditure. Even if a reason to build is linked to previous grants given for sports expenditure, would it not be cheaper to repay these grants than to incur significant additional expenditure on this "Luxury" cost with a facility in a location that is not only very divisive but will also produce a significant on going running cost. Perhaps when focusing on "Essential" expenditure Health, Education and Social care etc. must be far more important than this current proposal.
  • Posted by mep123 February 01, 2016 at 17:30

    It seems very strange that SBC is throwing money at this non-essential project when Peebles High School is at capacity with demand growth coming from large increases in housing numbers, and parts of it are in very poor condition. Nothing is more important for our future than a good education for our children, yet there is no evident plan to deal with these problems. A misallocation of resources.

    i'm not anti-football but I do wonder why (desirable) taxpayer support for sport should be directed to a rich sport which, almost uniquely among sports, obtains massive revenues from television rights. It's also predominantly male.

  • Posted by mry53 February 02, 2016 at 09:14

    I agree the sport and exercise are very important,but putting more financial expense too the tax payer and council. To say its going to cost 1.7 million ,when we already have 4 sports complexes within peebles. Putting this new sporting complex within the green space not only put extra running cost e.g up keep of the 3g pitch which has to be replaced every 8/10yrs depending on usage, caretaking expenses looking after the changing areas,running costs for the flood lighting. All these cost are on going through out the year, which is going to be more expense to the council. When the money would be better spent on the PHS as it's in great need on money spending on it as the yearly intake is growing with all the new houses within the catchment area. And as I say there is 4 more other sporting complex which could be updated not costing 1.7 million plus plus.
  • Posted by RT February 05, 2016 at 21:12

    Sport and exercise are important but so is education. To be spending this amount of money on more sporting facilities when the town is already so well provided for while cutting back on education services when our schools are having to cope with many more pupils than they were designed for is simply wrong. Furthermore the poor choice of location means that many costs within the project are derived from duplicating facilities that exist elsewhere.
  • Posted by fdm123 February 08, 2016 at 10:36

    I am not against a 3G pitch for Peebles if a more suitable site can be found at a more reasonable cost. The budget increase to £1.7m from just over £1m seems to be the result of siting the pitch away from existing changing and parking facilities and in parkland surrounded by trees which will make construction difficult and maintenance costly. The current planning application is incomplete and there seems no way the project can be completed this year. It should be ditched before even more money is wasted.
  • Posted by StopChasingTheBackhanders February 08, 2016 at 19:16

    Ditch the tapestry building, 3g pitches and all other superficial vanity projects and concentrate on the more important underlying structure of the community. The majority of your customers keep voting against these ridiculous ways of wasting public money but you keep railroading them through, knowing full well that they will never justify their costs. One has to wonder what the motivating factor is that gets our "public servants" to go to such efforts [and public expense] in getting them realised. Is panic setting in, now that the Golden Goose is laying fewer eggs?
  • Posted by chiropodist February 09, 2016 at 17:41

    With the infrastructure crumbling into disrepair, why oh why do the councillors feel that a 3G pitch and building for a tapestry are better use of public funds than the repair of potholes, pavements and roads, which are used be every one in the community.
  • Posted by Downears February 09, 2016 at 21:11

    I can not understand why Scottish borders council would spend this sort of money on a 3G pitch when Peebles High School is badly needing to be upgraded as the population of the town grows. Would it not be less expensive to site the 3G pitch here as there is already a new sports hub been built here.
  • Posted by Alfie February 10, 2016 at 19:28

    When the infrastructure in the borders is crumbling, why would the Councillors give priority to squandering scarce resources on the 3G pitch and the tapestry building. Many more people would benefit from well maintained roads and pavements instead of badly patched up roads.
    These are more mundane things to spend money on but if tourists come to visit The Borders and damage their cars, they won't return. Compensation claims must be costing the council a fortune.mm
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