'Residents stumped by cricket nets plan'

First published in News

PEOPLE opposed to Ammanford Cricket Club’s plan to replace one of Ammanford Park’s four tennis courts with practice nets feel they have not had the opportunity to make their voices heard.

This claim emerged at last week’s meeting of Ammanford town council when deputy mayor Irena Hopkins reported residents’ concerns that the issue was “a fait accompli”.

She confirmed Carmarthenshire county council’s scrutiny committee would be discussing the matter on December 19 – after town councillors voted 7-6 to oppose the plan.

“A lot of people were upset they did not have the chance to put their opinions forward,”

Cllr Hopkins told colleagues.

“The fact the scrutiny committee will now consider this issue will give us time to present the petition.”

Cllr Chris Jones said the matter remained a hot topic.

“People think there’s no justification in losing a tennis court and can’t see why there isn’t room for both facilities,” he added.

“The Miners’ Welfare donated those courts and I can understand why people are upset at the prospect of seeing one go.

“The cricket club say some residents were against them putting practice nets in the boules area.

“I don’t know how they arrived at that conclusion because quite a few people have told me they’d like to see nets there to combat antisocial behaviour.”

Cllr Jones suggested there was no guarantee that tennis courts at Ysgol Dyffryn Aman would still be there in five years.

“The only way we can guarantee tennis for our children is if we look after those courts in the park,” he said. “This proposal is crazy – we can have both.”

Cllr Jonathan Davies conceded other local tennis facilities left a lot to be desired.

“You would need a scuba mask to play on the courts in Betws,” he said.

But Cllr Davies admitted he remained unconvinced about the demand for tennis locally.

“I’ve huge sympathy, but noone seemed to be making a fuss before,” he added.

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