Town council to investigate all options for future of Brook Way hard court

Hard court at The Brook Way Activity Centre in Bradley Stoke.

Officers at Bradley Stoke Town Council have been asked to produce a detailed report on possible future uses for the hard court area at the Brook Way Activity Centre after Mayor Brian Hopkinson failed to gain support for a proposal to allow a local charity to build on the land.

An innocuous-sounding item on the agenda for last month’s Full Council meeting titled ‘Release of Hard-court at Brook Way Activity Centre for shared-use Youth Facilities’ turned out to be an attempt by the mayor to rush through a proposal to partition the currently unused sports facility into two building plots, with one plot be given over to the Incredible Kids charity and the other to a yet-to-be-formed body called ‘The Bradley Stoke Youth Trust’.

Discussion of the item was preceded by a presentation from representatives of Incredible Kids, a group that aims to provide a safe place where children with special needs can play together with their siblings, giving parents and carers the chance to meet with others in a similar situation whilst having a short break. The charity currently meets at Christ the King Church but says it needs a dedicated building with space to store equipment.

Following the presentation, Cllr Hopkinson, who had invited the charity to attend the meeting, circulated a half-page written proposal, which foresaw Incredible Kids being given an 85 year lease on the land and being allowed up to three years and three months to find funding and construct a building. He urged councillors to make a decision in favour of his proposal: “Tonight, rather than allowing it to drag on over a number of months or years.”

Resistance to the mayor’s request came from Cllr Rob Jones, who agreed that Incredible Kids is a “good cause” but warned that the council shouldn’t get carried away with disposing of what is an asset belonging to the town, adding: “We should take care to consider other organisations that might be interested. We have one organisation here tonight but we need to consult a wider cross-section of the community.”

Cllr Ben Walker also voiced concern, saying it would be great to look at the idea “as a concept” but making a decision at the current time would be “really dangerous” and “lacking in transparency”.

Another councillor, Tony Griffiths, asked whether it might be better to build an extension onto the existing council building at Brook Way, leaving the hard court area free to be used for an expansion of the car park.

Following much discussion, Cllr Hopkinson’s proposal failed to find a seconder and it was eventually agreed that “a full report be compiled and brought to the next Full Council meeting looking at possible future use of the hard-court at Brook Way Activity Centre (including legal issues and costings on all possible proposals)”.

Prior to the final vote, which was passed 10:0:1, councillors agreed by a narrow margin to exclude use of the area for “ball games and noisy sports” from any investigations. This follows complaints from neighbours about noise and light pollution when the hard courts were last in use two years ago. At that time, the facility suffered two incidents of vandalism in which a power cable was severed and a floodlight column sawn through.

This article originally appeared in the October edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to all homes in Bradley Stoke.

Sawn-off floodlight column at the Brook Way Activity Centre, Bradley Stoke

Photo: Sawn-through floodlight column at the hard court in May 2011.

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  1. Clr Hopkinson should be ashamed of himself. Trying to railroad this through Council, pressing them to make a decision on the night! That is one of the reasons we don’t trust politicians due to their underhand tactics. I say well done to the other councillors who rejected this. Their are lots of charitable organisations who are just as deserving and the majority have to use ‘non permanent’ premises. This land should not be given to anyone it should remain the Towns property what ever we decide to use it for. Clr Hopkinson is in danger of being voted the worst mayor this town has had and the sooner he clears off to Stoke Lodge the Better.

  2. Dear Mayor, you should follow due process this isn’t your private club that you can railroad things through.

    Dear Councillors, Thank you for not allowing this to happen.

  3. I agree with Refused and say that Cllr Hopkinson should be ashamed of himself.

    It’s not enough that he has messed up all the youth work that was so active in the town, but now he’s trying to offload community facilities to a private concern without going through a proper consultation process. This land belongs to the residents.

    The original inhabitants of Bradley Stoke worked hard to get the land for community facilities and we don’t want Stoke Lodge residents poking their noses in and trying to deprive us of the few facilities that we have fought for.

    Go back and mess with you own community (Patchway/Stoke Lodge) and leave ours well alone.

  4. Oi! We don’t want him in Patchway either!

    This another example of how Brian tries to steamroller people, for reasons we don’t know publicly.

    Stoke Lodge is leaving Patchway, and Brian is going with it, hurrah!

    Nice to see others getting off the fence at last.

  5. Cannot agree more with JonBoy and Dave Tiley. My understanding is his community isn’t Patchway but somewhere along the Severn so perhaps he should start meddling out there.
    Seems he is fond of railroading and coming up with crazy ideas which change like the weather.

  6. I feel sorry for stoke lodge when they go solo if this is how he acts .
    @Dave T
    Do you know if when they do go their own way are they taking some of Patchways debt with them .

  7. Of course I know Happy, I’m saddened that Stoke Lodge wishes to leave Patchway, but they voted to leave so that’s what happens, seeing as they view themselves as a cash cow for the less well off in the area they wish to look after their own affairs under the guidance of Brian Hopkinson, clearly I have nothing against Stoke Lodge and it’s people, but it’s been well documented how I view Brian, and it seems I’m not alone in that view above from other councils and Councillors, hopefully independent Stoke Lodge will eventually bloom, and Brian can deliver better facilities for them, bowling greens, cricket clubs, meeting places, garden party’s, all the good things we all aspire to. Sadly other areas view Patchway in a bad light, are you aware Almondsbury Council are doing their best to try and stop Patchway people from being buried in their lovely graveyard, despite the fact we’ve had a joint burial committee there since nigh on 1953, sharing and sustaining those facilities. Patchway, no one wants us dead or alive, I’ve said it before but this is my very own Royston Vasey as in the comedy League of Gentlemen, I’ll never leave, it seems that way increasingly as no one else will have me! I write with a smile and a giggle, having seen the shenanigans that goes on at councils an in politics I’m out of here at the next election, I urge anyone to have a try and see what goes on, many many good people who give up their free time for little thanks, but a few bullies who try and dominate some meeker and milder people who are often elderly can make life there most unpleasant. No hard feelings as it’s been a real eye-opener, but I’m going devote more time to my Wife, family, and further work commitments. 2015 will be someone else’s chance to try and make a difference for the community in a savage cuts environment. Be lucky. 😉

  8. Moving back to the issue in hand, there has always been real problems with parking over the Bradley Stoke Surgery and community centre worsened by the health centres growth, so much so that the doctors can’t even park there! The road & turning circle at bottom of the adjacent road – The common, is constantly having to suffer overflow parking, this is an official cycle route? If there are any plans for another building where will the required parking come from?

    Think again when considering youth services, the residents put up with enough last time with the youth club. Best not go down that road again….!

    Staff car park seems a good way forward.

  9. I think it should be used half for incredible kids and other half for parking. Most of the disabled children there can not go to the park like other children so they need some where to go and it also helps the parents to. I did not relies how hard it is to look after a disabled child till I had my son 3years ago me and my family love this group it means so much to us that we can go there and not be judged for how my son is. It is so hard on my son and the other children when we get canceled for other things that are going on at the venue we are in. Please can people just think if your child was disabled where would you be able to take them to have fun and not be stared at all the time. We have no where in bradley stoke.

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