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Council chiefs have defended a move to close Nantwich tennis courts during Wimbledon fortnight, for “health and safety” reasons.

Town councillors and residents criticised the move this week to rip up the three hard courts at Barony Sports complex, during one of the busiest periods of the year.

But Cheshire East said there was no evidence usage increased during Wimbledon fortnight, and that the courts needed urgent renovation.

A Cheshire East Council spokesman said: “The tennis courts are undergoing a £30,000 renovation in time for the start of the summer school holidays.

“We are committed to ensuring that we put residents first and therefore safety comes first.

“In this case we considered it vital for health and safety reasons to resurface the courts, at the first available opportunity, in time for the summer holidays when we know usage peaks.

“There is absolutely no evidence to support the assumption that tennis playing increases over Wimbledon. We do know, however, that tennis playing peaks during the summer holidays.

“The Council’s Everybody Sport and Recreation has arranged that for those wanting to practise their serves and game shots on the new un-lined courts in the three-week standing period, the new courts will be available at no charge.

“The facilities needed an upgrade because they were not suitable for Lawn Tennis Association competitions.”

Cllr Brian Silvester had called the decision “madness”, while many residents also criticised it.

One tweeted: “We don’t need tennis courts – what we need is more houses in Nantwich! The lunatics have taken over the asylum.”

And another said: “I thought it was a joke when I cycled past – absurd actions indeed. Pathetic even.”

4 Comments

  1. Paul says:

    Shavington tennis courts also closed as of 26 July. Nantwich courts still closed. Laughable . In this day and age how can the idiots that make these decisions keep their jobs.

  2. Rob says:

    When they say “there is no evidence to support the assumption”, do they mean they have the evidence and it demonstrates that usage does not increase, or do they mean they don’t have any evidence to prove it one way or another? There’s a touch of political speak about Cheshire East’s statement.

  3. Darren says:

    I hope the £30,000 for 3 courts is well spent. Just seems like a lot for just 3 courts.

  4. Doug L. Forlt says:

    Good news that the tennis courts are being resurfaced.
    One wonders what planet a local resident who thinks Nantwich needs ‘more houses’ is living on. Er… I think we’re about to get quite a few, aren’t we?
    Which decision does Mr. Silvester (master of the understatement) call ‘madness’ – resurfacing the courts at all, or doing it during Wimbledon fortnight (when every tennis fan is watching TV anyway)?

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