The offer of an area of land by David Wilson Homes on their development off Fleckney Road has prompted debate about the type of facilities we need in Kibworth.
We all have our specific interests, so ‘one size fits all’ will not work; but there seems to be some agreement that more amenities for teenagers should be on the list.
Two local organisations, Kibworth Scouts and Kibworth Town Football Club are facing the problem of lack of space and facilities due to their success in attracting several hundred youngsters every week.
Some residents want a multi-purpose outdoor sports facility, perhaps a baseball court, exercise equipment for adults or even a full-scale sports and recreation centre. Any or all of these would improve the health of the community and probably address some of the issues of anti-social behaviour, but none can be accomplished easily.
There is the problem of land supply. Landowners are unlikely to hand over land which they can sell to developers at high prices, although it would be wrong to cast all local landowners in this light. There is the fact that people use their cars to go to sports and recreation centres instead of walking, so new facilities of any size will need more land set aside for car parking. As we know, traffic and car parking are major issues in Kibworth and it would be ironic if new sports and leisure facilities exacerbated those problems.
Funding is also a challenge but not an insurmountable one. Where the health of young people or the wider community is concerned, finance is available, but only for projects which are sustainable, well thought out and relevant.
Where do we go from here? Maybe we need a ‘big discussion’ involving everyone who lives in Kibworth and all those groups, organisations and individuals who are already working hard to provide sport, leisure and recreational services; and we need to think outside the proverbial box for creative solutions to the obstacles perceived to be in the way.
Let’s kick off this discussion here and now in the Kibworth Chronicle and continue it with our friends, neighbours and children, and with the Kibworth Parish Councils.
Stephen Butt Parish Clerk,