IT'S JUST NOT CRICKET!
B.A.T.S FUNDAY CANCELLED DUE TO OUTSIDE PRESSURE
On Friday September 14th, we had planned a Family Funday event to be held at the Belper Meadows Sports Club. The free event was to feature stalls, children's entertainment, art and games, food, a guided walk to show the damage that the proposed Tesco Development will cause to the area and an evening of live music.
On Monday 27 August, with planning at an advanced stage, volunteers having committed time and money and many entertainers, artists and craftspeople already booked, we received the following email from the Chair of Belper Meadows Sports Club…
I understand you have booked the Pavilion at Belper Meadows Sports Club for Friday 14th September 2007. I am writing to inform you that Belper Meadows Sports Club Management Committee have, on legal advice, decided to cancel your booking that evening. This is due to unauthorised use of images of our facilities on your advertising posters, which contravene our terms of hire, and the implications that these give regarding our associations with B.A.T.S. Details on your website regarding our position are also misleading and incorrect.
I apologize for this method of contact, but as neither a name, number or deposit were left with our secretary, we have no other means of contacting you.
I would appreciate your confirmation of receipt of this email.
Mrs W Morris
Chair, Belper Meadows Sports Club"
The Belper Meadows Sports Club Management Committee has representatives from the Bowls, Hockey and Tennis Clubs which share the site. The Cricket Club on site is currently unrepresented. The Committee is currently dominated by the Hockey Club and Tennis Club.The group Treasurer (Tennis Club) is father in-law of the Chair (Hockey Club).
Obviously, some questions were raised by the email: On booking, we had never been asked for a deposit. "Terms of Hire" were never mentioned, and the "unauthorised use of images of our facilities" is very mysterious. The photograph of the Cricket Club was taken by me and was meant to remind people of what we will lose if Tesco come to town!
We know, from a Chair's statement issued to Sports Club Members, that the Sports Club are hoping for all manner of new facilities provided by Tesco, and have already agreed an "interim package" with the Retailer.
Does this mean (as we suspect it does) that Tesco are already wielding influence over a group in Belper?
In an effort to put things to rights as soon as possible, and allow the event to go ahead, our Events Co-ordinator, Oonagh McKay, sent the following response to the Chair on Tuesday the 28 August:
As BATS Events coordinator I was sent on your email regarding
your concerns about the event on the 14 September. I am sorry if there has
been a problem around communication but am sure that now we have made
contact we can sort things out to your satisfaction to enable the event to
carry on as planned on the 14 September.
Taking the points in turn from your email of the 27th-
We are very sorry if the posters have upset anyone or if they contravine any
booking protocols. We are very happy to remove any images that are
unauthorised and replace any posters that are already up around Belper and
Duffield. We are very happy to make clear on any further publicity that
B.A.T.S. is not affiliated to or officially supported by the Belper Sports
Club Management Committee.
I was not aware of any terms of hire when I booked the event in July with
the Cricket Club so would be grateful if you could let me have a copy of them as
soon as possible so that I can rectify any problems or sign any forms as
appropriate. I would be grateful if you could specify in writing what you
consider to be misleading so that there will be no delay in making the right
Regarding the lack of contact details I did in fact leave my phone number
with the Club and was not asked to leave a deposit. I am very happy to pop a
cheque into the club any day this week.
Hopefully this response has reassured you enough. As you can appreciate our
plans are at an advanced stage so i would be grateful if you could ring me
as soon as you have read this email. My home number is ******, my
mobile number is ******. I am at work 9-5 but will leave my mobile on
when I can. My work number is ******. If I cannot answer please leave
a message and your number on any of those numbers and I will get back to you
as soon as I can.
speak to you soon,
The Chair didn't reply, and Oonagh finally spoke to her late on Thursday 30 August to be told it was a unanimous decision of the Management Committee, and the booking was cancelled, full stop.
She also said that at no further time would B.A.T.S. be allowed to book space inside the pavilion or on any of the surrounding grounds around it.
Oonagh could not find out from the Chair why she waited until over 4 weeks after the posters went up and therefore 2 weeks before the event to tell us that she was cancelling the booking (our email address is on the website which is advertised in the event posters).
There is a fundamental difference becoming apparent between B.A.T.S and Tesco (and those who support/are influenced by them).
We recognise that we are acting on behalf of a majority of Belper people. This is borne out by a number of surveys from different sources. As such, we will always endeavour to be open in our dealings and campaigning. Our opponents, on the other hand, are not above underhand behaviour, and those who have been "bought off" will operate purely out of self-interest.
We have been forced to cancel the event on the 14th, being unable to find a suitable alternative venue at such short notice. This is a shame, as it would have been an enjoyable evening out for Belper families.
It's also a lesson, though, in what extent various organisations will go to stifle debate and local democracy.
The guided walk will go ahead, however: People are invited to meet at the Triangle at 6.30pm on Friday September 14th!
The B.A.T.S information stall will also be out on Strutt Street on the morning of Saturday September 8th.
AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE TESCO FEEDER ROAD-SIGN THE PETITION!
From the Belper News
A PETITION demanding a ban on heavy goods vehicles driving through Belper has been launched on a government website.
Belper Town Councillor Barry Lewis launched the petition to impose a 7.5 ton weight restriction on the A6 between Allestree and Ambergate following discussions with residents at his North Ward surgery.
The aim is to reduce the number of lorries using the narrow stretch of the A6 through Belper, forcing them to use the A38 instead, and alleviating traffic congestion in the town.
Mr Lewis said: "The A38 was originally mooted by Derbyshire County Council as the 'Belper by-pass', yet continuing to allow lorries to use this very narrow stretch of the A6, particularly where it goes through the town, does nothing to ease Belper's traffic problems. In fact over the years it has gotten worse.
"It is for this reason that the county council is looking with some interest at an unsustainable solution – to get a potential developer to stump up the cash to construct a relief road through Belper Meadows.
"If there was a weight limit imposed on the A6 then lorries would be forced to use the A38, which would radically improve things along that stretch of the A6 in town and elsewhere between Allestree and Ambergate. There would then be no need for a relief road in Belper.
"A relief road, built on the back of any kind of potential retail or other development is totally unsustainable and hopelessly short sighted solution. The county council needs to see the will of the Belper people and impose this weight limit rather than look at supporting any application for a new relief road."
The weight limit would not be enforced against lorries requiring access to Belper for deliveries or to return to one of the heavy goods vehicles depots or yards in the town, only against those using the town as a through route.
One of the first names on the petition was that of Councillor Jim Anderson who said: "The original idea of the A38 was basically to keep the heavy goods vehicles out and it doesn't do that.
"If the lorries have a reason to be in belper, like a delivery, then there's no problem but not all of them do at the moment. We need some sort of relief from the heavy goods vehicles passing through the town.
"I know some of the vehicles I've seen going through are not coming to Belper because I know what factories they're going to.
"It can get very dangerous between the triangle and King Street. In other parts of the borough residents have put pressure on and got a weight limit imposed so I'd say it's well worth signing the petition."
The petition can be found here, and the deadline for signatures is October 31.