Campaign to save Pickup's field joined by Gold medal winning paralympian

9 Sep 2019 09:29
Published by: Daniel Almond


Local residents, Councillors and a Paralympic athlete joined Horwich North East Ward Labour Councillor Richard Silvester at the weekend to protest against Pickup’s field in Horwich being sold for development.


Cllr. Silvester organised the protest and was joined by Bolton’s Gold medal winning Paralympic athlete Tony Griffin who was also awarded a British Empire Medal in this year’s New Years Honours for his services to Sport and the promotion of Sport with young people.


The decision on whether the field should be sold or not for a housing development will be made by the Conservative Deputy Leader of Bolton Council next week on Monday 16th September.


Cllr. Silvester said that he organised the protest to show how important it was to save local playing fields for the community to use for sport and recreation. ‘Firstly thank you to everyone who joined the protest. I am very pleased that we are being backed in our campaign by our local Paralympic athlete Tony Griffin. This field was used for both football and cricket by the local community before it fell into decline and is now overgrown and unkept. This field should not be sold and it should be brought back into use as community green space as it was previously’.


World record holding Paralympian Tony Griffin who played Paralympic football said he was delighted to support the campaign to save Pickup’s field. ‘I have actually played football myself on this field going back to the late 1970’s and early 80’s. To look at it now is quite upsetting. I know it was well used by the community but the point is that when I was young playing football here, little did I know that I would go on to represent the UK at an international level playing football and winning Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for our country. Keeping playing fields for use by the community and getting young people using them for sport is very important. I would appeal to the person at the Council making the decision regarding this land, not to sell it. If it is saved then who knows, perhaps a young person from Horwich using this field in the future will go on to represent our country at the highest levels in sport. That’s the importance of keeping playing fields so that these opportunities are there for everyone. When they have gone then that’s something taken away forever’.


Cllr. Silvester says that he is optimistic that Pickup’s field will be saved from development. ‘We managed to save Cedar Avenue playing field back in 2012 and also gained Village Green status for it as the Council listened to that campaign. Bolton Council has also refused planning permission for this field and full Council decided that the land should not be sold. It would be unprecedented for the Conservative Deputy Leader of the Council to go against the decisions already made by the Council. If he did that then it would show that he is not listening, it would show utter contempt for everyone involved in this campaign, for the Council itself and towards Horwich. If Labour were in control of Bolton Council we would already have made the decision to save Pickup’s field’.


You may be interested in