Bowlers to take charge of Doncaster greens to save borough council money

Cabinet member Joe Blackham with members of the Doncaster and District Bowling Association
Cabinet member Joe Blackham with members of the Doncaster and District Bowling Association

Bowlers in Doncaster will take charge of the town's greens in a scheme which will give lovers of the sport more control and save the council money.

Under the new system, Doncaster and District Bowling Association (DDBA) will take over the management of the bowling greens.

The management of the greens will vary, with some clubs being responsible for all maintenance work while others will use a DDBA appointed contractor.

The partnership agreement will last until at least March 2020.

Previously, Doncaster Council spent £106,000 every year maintaining bowling greens. By transferring the day-to-day management of the greens to the DDBA, the council will save £64,000 per year.

The council will sponsor the DDBA with an annual payment of £2,000 per green towards maintenance. DDBA will co-ordinate with all the clubs to ensure that greens reach the standard set out in the sponsorship agreement.

Cabinet member for Highways, Street Scene and Traded Services, Cllr Joe Blackham, met with members of the DDBA to discuss the merits of the handover.

He also tried his hand at the game.

Cllr Blackham said: “This is a great example of how we’re changing the way we work, and working in co-operation with the community to deliver results. At a time when our budget has been significantly cut by the Government, we are under great pressure to deliver savings where we can, without reducing services.

“This scheme is a brilliant example of the community joining us to look after valuable assets that they care about. These groups can often give places the extra level of care and attention that the council simply doesn’t have the time to do for every location in the borough, so this really is a win-win for everyone involved.”

DDBA president Ray Hall said “The DDBA is keen to work with Doncaster Council to improve the quality of greens in Doncaster and as a result we would like to see participation grow within the sport.

"Crown green bowling is a sport for all ages and can be very competitive, but it can also offer a sociable activity that can help create a wide circle of friends.”