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Greens call for investment in facilities for people with mobility problems in Bishop's Stortford

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Stortford cricket (8606433)
Stortford cricket (8606433)

Outdoor leisure is key to the semi-rural nature of the town. Green spaces need to be protected and improved. Proper consultation needs to be made with organisations that are already doing this: Friends of Southern Country Park, Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Birchanger Wood Trust, TUBS, Stortford in Bloom and many others.

The town can be enhanced by better facilities for litter and dog waste, picnic areas, benches in parks and by the river, and an increase in signage encouraging people to explore our green spaces responsibly and showing them how.

Natural spaces improve mental and physical health; a better knowledge of wildlife encourages people to protect it. Further publicity of walking routes and promoting outdoor pursuits such as geocaching, can be done at little cost. More investment is needed in accessibility and facilities for people with mobility restrictions or other impairments.

A lot of land, surrounding and within the town, has been procured already. One might question why outdoor leisure, fitness and sporting facilities are not integral to the plans for such vast swathes of new development! Cricketfield Lane, Thorley cricket ground, Southern Country Park and Grange Paddocks highlight how outdoor leisure, fitness and sport have a positive impact on communities.

As Greens, we believe that any land that comes up for sale, or has been abandoned or neglected, should be offered to community groups first. Instead of building on the Green Belt, we would encourage indoor leisure pursuits being housed in empty units in the high street and other retail hubs, to encourage footfall. Consultation, again, is crucial, to ensure it will not draw people away from existing businesses.

We would hold developers to account over the spending of the investment towards sporting facilities at Stortford Fields, ensuring proper consultation over the proposed sports pavilion and over what the money may be used for, should that not go ahead.

We would support more sporting facilities in the south of the town, reducing the need for residents to travel larger distances: a sports pavilion in Bishop's Stortford South would be of much better value

to the community than the proposed car showroom! As well as play areas for children, we would push for the inclusion of more outdoor gym equipment around the town.

Two new secondary schools are planned for construction: they need to be built to allow community use of outdoor and indoor sports facilities. The design of the buildings can allow public access without safeguarding issues. These provisions would create an additional revenue stream for schools which are already suffering from the current Tory spending crisis. These schools need to be linked to the rest of the town by a cycle network (that allows people to leave cars at home) and secure cycle parking for students, teachers and residents.

Investment in current and future clubs, reducing their environmental impact, is needed. Improvements in heating, cooling, insulation and water management are essential to making our leisure time have as little impact on pollution and climate change as possible.

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