We own the land so there’s no point holding a referendum – and it’s not safe for kids anyway

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AFTER having read Mr Malkin’s letter I feel it is only right we respond and correct inaccuracies.

1 – Moulton Parish Council contacted several people and organisations requesting them to advise on the possibility of providing some land that could be used as a play area.

As far as I am aware none of them were in a position to provide such an area, however Moulton Parish Council and Mr Malkin both declined to name these people and organisations, preferring instead to name only the society.

2 – The land on which the society resides was purchased by the society and is private land. The society exists purely for its members.

3 – Mr Malkin also says the position of the field “indicates that it should be inclined to be a friend of the village”. I am sure that the more than 500 bona fide members of the society would already accept that it is a friend to them.

4 – The play area that was suggested by the parish council, which is known as The Paddock, is in fact not suitable for young children. It has a roadway running through the middle which is continuously used by private, commercial, and agricultural vehicles, and the grassed area is used as an overspill car park. When cricket matches are taking place there is the constant possibility of hard cricket balls flying into the paddock area.

5 – Only partial quotations have been taken and out of context. The extract from our letter to the Moulton Parish Council was as follows: “I have to inform you that the committee still hold the opinion that the field is not suitable, nor available, for use as a play area.”

As the situation regarding the land had not changed since the original request was made in 1988 the society committee felt that there was no benefit in meeting with the council.

6 – Referenda are not legally binding, therefore holding one would be pointless, not least because you can’t hold a referendum about the use of private land.

7 – Naturally there is no record of the society at the Charity Commissioner’s website as we are not a charity.

8 – Mr Malkin states that there was an ‘angry and negative response’ from the society. On past occasions instead of approaching the society he preferred to have articles published in the press and local magazine.

We don’t feel that a form of ‘trial by media’ is a particularly good way to conduct negotiations.

R GRANT

Honorary Secretary

Moulton Harrox Sports

and Social Society