Batters happy but bowlers claim it’s just not cricket

On Friday (18th April) representatives of Bradley Stoke Cricket Club signed on a new rental agreement with Bradley Stoke Town Council, bringing months of often acrimonious negotiations to an end. The deal is reported to secure the club’s future at the Baileys Court cricket ground for the next forty years.

Bradley Stoke Town Council issued a press release about the agreement on Friday evening, while Mayor Julian Barge can be heard talking about the deal in an audio clip interview published on the sadlybroke website. This sudden wave of publicity is likely to be interpreted by cynics as a sign of the Council’s relief that one element in the long-running dispute over the Baileys Court rental agreements has finally been brought to a conclusion. However, many people in the town believe that the problems are of the Council’s own making, following their decision to unilaterally increase rents by massive amounts in 2007.

In stark contrast, negotiations with Northavon Bowls Club, who also have a ground at Baileys Court, continue to be deadlocked. A source within the Club has informed The Journal that recent attempts to bring in a mediator from South Gloucestershire Council have been rejected by the Town Council. However, a spokesman from the Council gave a different account, stating that the mediator, having examined the history of the case, decided that no useful arbitration would be possible.

Sources from both sides in the dispute have confirmed that the Club has been ordered to remove all its effects from the Baileys Court pavilion by 1st May 2008.

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