Can Mayoral Hopefuls Help Gordon Juniors?
In the lead up to the Willoughby mayoral election, the club is asking all candidates for their vision for junior cricket in our district.
Below are the responses.
Gordon Juniors - which mirrors the Willougby council area with about 400 families involved in the sport - raised several key points with the candidates. They are:
- Fair and logical access to cricket training facilities during season.
- Improvement of these facilities.
- The need for a home base for Gordon Juniors.
- Open and continuing consultation by Council with Gordon Juniors and other like minded amateur sporting bodies.
Junior cricket faces many pressing challenges when it comes to equitable access to council grounds and facilities for midweek training and matches. The quality of the grounds and facilities - and the inherent safety issues - also needs urgent solutions.
Gordon Juniors understands the demand is great and therefore applauds council for working towards artificial turf solutions for the very heavily used ovals.
We see the establishment of a home base for our growing cricket club as a priority. In securing a home base, the Club recognises the need to ensure that other sports are accommodated fairly. The Club does not seek dominant access or a monopoly over the facilities. We are committed to working with Council on multi access, especially across summer and winter seasons.
We ask you read the below to help you to make your choice for the April 12 election. It will be updated as responses come in.
Stuart Coppock"It’s clear you need support and respect for what you are doing for the children and youth in our community. We have a stated policy to have the highest participation of sports and dance for ages 5 to 25 in the country. To that end we need more facilities and we believe in multi sharing of these new facilities to ensure a fair deal for all and to ensure you get the facilitates that you require to ensure all your good work as volunteers is fully supported and allowed to grow. I will do all within my power to get children and youth away from their computers on to the cricket field to exercise, make new friends and have fun.
We have identified some council savings in its budgets and also with the use of technology enhancing our operations, will be able to find savings and new revenue streams. To that end, We will look to redirect these saving into local sporting community groups in the main. We are also looking to trial rebates to sporting groups on fees. We are here to support the growth in cricket and all sports if elected Mayor.
I can’t do this without your and the community's direct support on the 12/04/2014.
As Mayor I propose to do the following:
- Establish Willoughby City Council (WCC) sports consultative group .Other Councils have such a group, it is time our Council did too.
- Have an officer at WCC appointed to run the Consultative group - a different role to the ground allocation function which will remain unaltered.
- Liaison with State sporting bodies to ensure WCC future planning is in line with such Bodies and delivers quicker on your needs for these growth in your numbers
- Work with individual groups on different locations to make those fields and sites work better and look to place your needs of a home as a central focus.
- Establish a realistic financial plan for upgrading sites some with synthetic surfaces-all to operate over a ten year period with annual targets.
- Review planning laws to create built green field sites for new facilities.
"I am very keen on promoting sport and recreation within our city and I see cricket as a key part of that. I'm also very aware of both the limited availability of grounds in Willoughby City, and the increasing cost of those grounds upon clubs. Artarmon Reserve is actually a great case in point, the condition of the oval is not to a standard that I would be happy with and yet I am aware of the increase in costs current users have incurred.
During my past 5 years as a Sailors Bay Councillor, I've worked closely with the users of Northbridge Oval (now with much improved nets) and with the users of Bicentennial Park to better align their growing needs with resources available. In most cases, we have been able to deliver positive outcomes, with recognition of local traffic impact and in some cases lighting. I am also aware of a similar community desire to discuss the future of Chatswood Oval. If I am elected Mayor next Saturday, I look forward to talking to you more specifically about your needs and how we can work together to provide an appropriate home for Gordon Junior Cricket."
"Cricket is a lifeblood of our local community and the Council should be working to support clubs, not charging and detracting from them.
If elected I am committed to improving the dialogue with local sports clubs and achieving the following:
Working with you to review your needs: I will get Council to undertake an audit of the current sporting arrangements so we can better understand the needs of all sporting communities.
This means that clubs like Gordon Juniors will be able to have a clear and visible say in what resources and facilities they require from council.
We need to bring together all sporting clubs in a community meeting and determine how the Council’s facilities could be better allocated.
Introducing a sports manager to oversee all sporting facilities: I will make sure there is one person to oversee all sports club and their arrangements with Council.
This person will make sure that the needs of all clubs are met fairly and equally and that more optimal facility allocations can occur.
It will also mean that council can have greater oversight over sports clubs and improve how they are treated.
Getting Gordon Juniors a home ground: We need to make sure that Council makes its facilities available to clubs like Gordon Juniors and work with the club to find a feasible home ground.
Maintain and invest in sporting facilities: Council is increasing its facility fees but is not reinvesting that money into the appropriate facilities. I will improve Council’s financial sustainability without increasing rates and reduce the pressure it is placing on local sports communities.
I will get Council to review its fees and determine how best it can charge for these facilities without increasing fees.
I am a strong supporter of the provision of sporting facilities for our community, as my record as a councillor for the past ten years attests. I enjoy watching cricket and encourage its promotion as a sport which encourage a healthy outdoor lifestyle for young people. It's wonderful to hear that your club is flourishing. It's also wonderful to hear of the assistance that you are getting from the parent supporters, that sort of joint purpose is what builds community ties.
I note that you would like council's assistance to create a home base. You nominate Artarmon Reserve as your preference. I had not heard of this proposal previously, perhaps you have discussed it with the Ward councillors for that area? It is in Naremburn Ward. I would be very interested to hear more about it.
Your advice that you are aware of the need to share the use of facilities with other sports is very reassuring as we really need to ensure that the diverse interests of our whole community are catered for when allocating council resources.
The General Manager, Nick Tobin, is currently on leave but I will raise your proposal with him and the Naremburn ward councillors at the earliest opportunity.
The situation will only become more critical as the increase in population of children in our area starts to impact on organized sport as they reach the age to be involved."
Please note the following candidates have so far not responded:
- Steven Willoughby
- Nic Wright
Contact email cannot be found for John Owens.