Leeds bowling greens face cut and season ticket charge looms

The number of council-run crown green bowling sites in Leeds could be cut and users may be forced to pay for a season ticket.

City officials are considering the plan in light of the sport enjoying a £245,000 annual subsidy, with gas and electric supplies costing £30,000.

The £25 season ticket is being considered as a way to cut costs.

Leeds and district Crown Green Bowling Association said the charge would put the sport on a "sustainable footing".

'Secure future'

In a statement, the authority said: "Proposals being considered by the city council's executive board includes over a four-year-period from 2014-2015 the introduction of a crown green bowl season ticket, beginning at £25 in the first year.

"It has also been agreed with the bowling associations that clubs will begin to cover the cost of spending on gas and electricity in bowling pavilions, which is currently paid for by the council at a cost £30k per annum, along with the closure of six greens at five locations with multiple green sites from March 2014.

"Recommended for closure are sites at Potternewton Park, Harehills, Cranmore and Western Flatts Park which will each lose one green, with Woodhouse Moor Park losing two.

Andrew Dewhirst, chairman of Leeds and District Crown Green Bowling Association and Gordon Longfellow from the Wharfedale Clubs Bowls Trust have both backed the plan.

"Officers from Leeds and District Crown Green Bowling Association, along with colleagues from other associations, have worked closely with both officers from Leeds City Council to establish this new way forward for crown green bowling in the city.

"Whilst some difficult discussions have had to be undertaken to arrive at this point, we are confident that the proposals being put forward to the council's executive board for consideration will, if approved, put our sport on a much more sustainable and secure footing for the future."

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