PLAYING FIELD: No reason to hang our heads

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With reference to Mr Freeman’s letter (Lincolnshire Free Press, February 11), I write as South Holland District Council’s portfolio holder with responsibility for operational aspects of The Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field.

Whilst I acknowledge Mr Freeman’s right to dispute the amount of subsidy, I take issue with his view that a “cloak of secrecy” has surrounded the council’s publication of the finances for the field.

All of our council finances go through a scrutiny process and are openly available to the public.

In the case of the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field, the scrutiny process includes auditors, the Charity Commission and Spalding Town Forum – a body comprising Spalding’s district councillors and representatives of the community.

The council annually sets the fees and charges relating to hiring facilities such as the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field. These too are, of course, public information.

By underlining this process, I hope I’ve made it clear that none of the 37 district councillors has any reason to “hang their heads in shame”, as any member of the public has been privy to the same, complete financial information about the field.

I would also like to reiterate that Spalding United has no tenure of the field and is subject to the same booking process as any other hirer.

Finally, I would like to assure Mr Freeman and every other South Holland resident that the council is committed to getting the best use of the playing field for the inhabitants of the district.

Nick Worth

Deputy leader of South Holland District Council