Herts sports bosses’ u-turn on new athletics track

Cavendish School Sports at Jarman Park Track, Hemel Hempstead. Meg Smith year 7 Girls 200 metres wins.
Cavendish School Sports at Jarman Park Track, Hemel Hempstead. Meg Smith year 7 Girls 200 metres wins.

Dacorum Borough Council has dropped its plans to move Jarman Park athletics track to Cupid Green.

The controversial scheme was key part of the council’s sports and activity strategy.

But despite the climbdown campaigners said there were plenty of reasons to worry – 
including the council unveiling a new strategy, which has never been subject to public scrutiny.

Cllr Adrian England told the Gazette: “Cllr Neil Harden has taken responsibility for the strategy but it has no action plan, no budget, and even the bare bones don’t hang together properly.

“It’s been rated 2/10 – and this inferior re-write has never been out for consultation.”

A public consultation, discussed by councillors earlier this month, gave far more negative than positive feedback on the council’s plans to move the athletics track.

Five per cent of respondents made “general” positive comments, while four per cent reckoned it would benefit local schools.

However 25 per cent of people wanted to keep or improve the existing site, 22 per cent were concerned about parking at the new site, and 17 per cent were worried about the change meaning more traffic congestion or disruption.

One person stated: “I feel that this is a very cynical attempt by the current council to sell the Jarmans Park facility off for housing/building rather than being a genuine well thought out plan to offer improved sports facilities.”