Grand plans for old village fields

Jo Haigh and Cllr June Cliffe MBE: Nominated in the 2013 Yorkshire Women of Achievement Awards.
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Jo Haigh and Cllr June Cliffe MBE: Nominated in the 2013 Yorkshire Women of Achievement Awards. w311b321

Village councillors have plans to breathe life into old recreation fields, if it can thrash out a deal with the owners.

Sharlston Parish Council is seeking a meeting with CISWO (the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation) over the abandoned Kibble fields to negotiate a deal for a long-term lease.

A letter sent out by the council describes their intentions as a ‘huge undertaking’, as they look to restore the playing pitches, as well as building a play park, changing rooms, a function room and even allotments on the site.

Council chairman, Coun June Cliffe said the ideas were at a preliminary stage, and getting CISWO around the table was the next step.

She said: “We’re at the stage where we’re trying to get a lease from CISWO, but we’re right at the beginning.

“We need a lease that will suit the parish council for years, not just now. We want a meeting where we can negotiate so we can conserve those lands for sport and the community.

“We’ve got some big plans and we hope with the right help we could get this off the ground, we all feel it can happen.

“It is a big project and the whole of the parish council is behind this, we’re all wanting to move forward with it.

“The reaction we’ve had so far has been positive, people want it keeping for leisure.”

The fields were once well used by sports clubs but fell into disrepair, with Coun Cliffe saying there has been “all sorts of problems”, including arson attacks and travellers setting up camp.