As the national bowls championships began at Victoria Park in Leamington this week, a campaign focusing on the public use of the park has returned to the fore.
The Friends of Victoria Park formed last year especially to campaign against Bowls England’s use of the par during its tournaments for competitors to park their cars and caravans.
After discussions between the Friends group, Warwick District Council - which owns the park - and Bowls England, it was agreed that the caravans would be sited elsewhere. But members of the Friends group say that, while the council has been open to suggestions for alternative spots for the competitors to park, Bowls England has not.
David Adams of the group said: “We thought we could all sit around the table and arrive at a sensible conclusion. They are refusing to meet with us.
“We presented the petition to the council in September and it had more than 1,500 signatures. That’s an awful lot of people.”
Mr Adams said up to 350 cars are permitted to park within Victoria Park for the duration of the women’s and men’s events - which end at the end of August. He said: “We would like Bowls England to sit down and discuss it with us. We are very pleased that the national championships are being held in Leamington.
“But we think most visitors should park in the town centre. They would spend more money in the town than they do parking at Victoria Park.”
Tony Allcock, Bowls England’s chief executive, said: “The management of parking arrangements during the national championships is a matter for Warwick District Council. However, contrary to reports, representatives of Bowls England have previously met with the Friends of Victoria Park and Warwick District Council at joint meetings that has enabled the views of all three parties to be heard.”
To contact the Friends group about the matter, email firstname.lastname@example.org