Has Horsham Indoor Bowls Club achieved a reprieve from closure?
At time of compiling this letter the news from Jonathan Chowan of Horsham District Council is very encouraging. The extension of the club lease to 2017 provides a stay of execution.
It will be a relief to hundreds of men, women and children who take an active interest in the club.
I understand that Jonathan Chowan is visiting the club this week to explain to the membership an outline of his proposal of extending the lease and the proposal to include the club within the new leisure centre.
Perhaps Mr Chowan is due congratulations on responding to the public outcry.
Yes we can award a pat on the back when deserved. This gives us cause for optimism although maybe, just maybe, with caution. Remember those words of some bright spark, ‘An optimist is a man who starts a crossword puzzle with a fountain pen’ - the devil lies in the detail.
Looking beyond the period of the lease a promise to house the club within the leisure centre still leaves them with unanswered questions of how the club can be accommodated alongside a commercial enterprise.
The club requires their own changing rooms and lockers, restaurant and bar which are run by volunteers. On top of this a degree of independance which the flexibility of the ‘club’ would need.
I am also pondering on the question of parking. At present the bowls club enjoys the free use of a car park shared with the leisure centre.
With the new plans for the Quadrant with all its retail shops, hotel, medical centre etc, there will be pressure for car park charges.
This pressure will come from, I guess, a) Tesco to protect its own free parking, b) lack of space due to provision of the additional buildings, c) it is mooted within council plans to provide park and ride to west of Horsham.
Any plans to tax individuals whilst they play bowls would definitely be a hindrance to members.
However let us be encouraged for now. To share in this relief let me reiterate my invitation to everyone to pop into Horsham Indoor Bowls Club which is opposite Tesco, Broadbridge Heath and see for themselves what the future could hold for them. It would appeal to all ages.
Skylark View, Horsham