TIME FOR ACTION - Braywick Park Community Stadium
Posted on 13th October 2023
It is ten weeks since the RBWM Cabinet decided to withdraw the Council’s support of Maidenhead United’s proposed move to Braywick Park.
Since that meeting, several informal meetings have taken place between the club and both RBWM Councillors and Officers. Surprisingly, we have still not received any formal communication from the Council confirming the outcome of the Cabinet decision, the basis of the decision nor the implications of the decision for the contract we have to acquire the site at Braywick.
We have clearly been let down by the new Council administration, which chose to discard our proposals without meeting their obligation to the club or local residents to consider the benefits of a new community stadium with associated astroturfs, athletics, futsal, disabled sport and wellbeing facilities will deliver for the community.
Furthermore, they failed to recognise or consider that the new stadium facilities would be held independently, in trust, for the benefit of the community and would be delivered and maintained in the long term at NO COST to the Council.
This seems even more incredulous today, given the challenging financial situation the local authority has subsequently revealed. Consequently, there is unlikely to be any substantial capital funding available from the Council in the foreseeable future to invest in the additional sports and wellbeing facilities the local area needs.
Whilst we all recognise and understand the value of green spaces to the town, Braywick is an established sports hub. The proposed location for the project is already principally used for community sports, meaning our proposal is an enhancement of existing sports provision.
The practical realities are that:
Maidenhead United and our Community Trust still need new and improved stadium and club facilities, LOCATED IN MAIDENHEAD, to support the growth and success of the club and all we do in the community.
We have waiting lists for our junior football teams and are unable to extend the opportunities available for women and girls to play the game because existing astroturf provisions in the town are now operating at capacity.
Our women’s football and futsal teams have to train and play competitive matches at venues outside the borough as far as west London, because of the lack of available facilities in Maidenhead and the surrounding areas.
The athletic facilities at Braywick are inadequate because they are not maintained, they flood when it rains and are not floodlit, limiting the opportunity for Maidenhead Athletic Club to grow and improve the offerings available to its members and the wider community.
We know that our supporters, members, and many local people recognise the value and benefit of our proposals to the town and share our dismay with the Council’s decision.
We are grateful to Shay Bottomley, who earlier this week launched the #MOVEUSORLOSEUS petition asking the Council’s cabinet to review its decision.
THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO SHOW THE COUNCIL THAT OUR PROPOSALS ARE SUPPORTED BY THE LOCAL COMMUNITY AND DESERVE FAIR AND PROPER CONSIDERATION.
WE ENCOURAGE YOU, YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS, AND YOUR FRIENDS TO FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW AND SIGN THE PETITION:
In terms of the club's next steps, we have taken legal advice regarding the Council’s contractual obligations to the club, which they have not met. Given this failure and the continued lack of formal communication with us, at this stage, we have no alternative but to take legal action against the Council for breach of contract.
Accordingly, we have asked our legal advisors to commence preparing the case.
We have verbally informed Councillors about this, who understand why we are taking this step and have assured us this will not impact our wider relationships with the Council. Our hope is that the matter can be resolved without the requirement for legal action and we remain committed to working with RBWM to achieve a positive outcome.
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