Last-ditch plea over use of playing field

The Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field.
The Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field.
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A last-ditch attempt is being made to press for free access to a Spalding playing field ahead of a meeting that is hoped will end the long-running dispute over its use.

Members of a community action group are urging residents to oppose “reckless and dictatorial intentions to deny them and fellow town inhabitants their rights to freely access” Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field – the home of Spalding United.

Deputy leader Coun Nick Worth said trustees at tomorrow (Wednesday) night’s meeting at South Holland District Council would decide the wording on the booking form to make it clearer individuals can use the playing field.

But that did not mean the facility would be opened to the public.

At a previous meeting, Coun Worth explained: “For security reasons this will not happen and that was acknowledged in a report from our legal team.

“The next step will be to write to the Charity Commission and tell them in a robust letter what we are doing. And that will be the end of it.”

The Charity Commission became involved in the long-running dispute over use of the field after being contacted by Bill Johnson of the Spalding Community Campaign.

A post on the campaign website is urging residents that their opinion counts and they should make it known.

Referring to Wednesday’s meeting it states: “This is a move that will attempt to defy the Charity Commission as the regulator of the site who have indicated that under legal obligation the council as the trustee of the field must change its use to provide public benefit.”

Mr Johnson said: “This meeting has been arranged, but there is no public consultation, or the chance for the public to speak at the meeting.”

In reply, Coun Worth said: “The trustees are being asked by officers to look at the current booking form.

“They will then formulate a response to the Charity Commission.”

Emails to be forwarded to the trustees can be sent to Mr Johnson at