In dramatic scenes at Baileys Court bowling green on Sunday afternoon, police were called after a group of approximately fifty bowlers and supporters from Northavon Bowls Club entered the ground in defiance of an order imposed by Bradley Stoke Town Council. The bowlers began to set out equipment for an “open session”, but were soon interrupted by the sound of police sirens and the arrival of officers from Avon and Somerset Constabulary.
Gates to the green had been padlocked two weeks ago by the Council, but the chain on one of the gates was mysteriously severed sometime earlier on Sunday. This allowed the group to enter the premises at around 2pm.
The Club is in dispute with the Council over proposals for a new rental agreement at the ground and following the breakdown of negotiations between the two parties, the Club has been banned from the green and pavilion and instructed to remove all its effects by 1st May. [see earlier report in The Journal]
A total of seven police officers and PCSOs attended the disturbance and they are understood to have requested that the group leave the premises as they were committing an unlawful act of trespass following an incident of criminal damage. Heated discussions ensued, with some members of the club commenting that the strength of the police response was “over the top”. The group eventually left the ground after being there for about forty-five minutes.
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