We need £1.1m to get back on track

Support – Canvey’s former Olympic decathlete Dean Macey, foreground, is backing a campaign by track users for major improvements

Support – Canvey’s former Olympic decathlete Dean Macey, foreground, is backing a campaign by track users for major improvements

First published in News by

MORE than £1million is needed to transform a rundown athletics track.

The public track behind Waterside Leisure Centre, in Somnes Avenue, Canvey, has been neglected for years and runners are training elsewhere.

Now it has been revealed £1.1million is needed to bring it up to Sport England standards with lighting, a 110m straight track on both sides, a grass infield and jumps.

Tom Skipp, Castle Point councillor for the environment and leisure, said: “In all honesty I don’t see how this council can justify this expenditure when similar facilities are available 30 minutes away in neighbouring boroughs.”

After a £2,500 project for remedial works, Bill Sharp, the council’s deputy leader, said the track was in “a perfectly acceptable condition to be used”, but a decision was needed about charging athletes.

Mr Sharp said: “I thought originally there was a nominal sum to be paid by users but when it was in a poor condition nobody charged for it.

“It would be logical not to charge and say it is available to all to enjoy sport.” Dave Blackwell, leader of Canvey Independent Party, said: “For years, running clubs have been using the track without paying and the council is supposed to make them pay. It wasn’t a free track.

“When it was in a good condition all the schools used it for their sports day and would hire it out.”

Now, residents use the track for free, but runners say money needs to be invested.

Ian Pike, head coach at Benfleet Running Club, said: “We are not allowed to use it as it is not suitable. People still go over there though, and just don’t pay. There’s grass growing through the tracks. It is useable but I don’t think they havemaintained it for years. It’s just been left.

“It’s a shame. When it was opened the problems began as it is actually too short by about a foot, it isn’t quite 400m. Had they made it 400m it would have had more people using it in the early days and maybe it wouldn’t be in the state it is now.”

Comments (13)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:36pm Mon 25 Aug 14

burghcastle says...

How much is needed for a rundown Southend-on-sea?
How much is needed for a rundown Southend-on-sea? burghcastle
  • Score: 3

5:37pm Mon 25 Aug 14

burghcastle says...

burghcastle wrote:
How much is needed for a rundown Southend-on-sea?
.
[quote][p][bold]burghcastle[/bold] wrote: How much is needed for a rundown Southend-on-sea?[/p][/quote]. burghcastle
  • Score: 3

5:37pm Mon 25 Aug 14

Howard Cháse says...

Sell off some greenbelt/parkland to pay for it.

Worked well enough for Tiny Balls and Basildon Council in respect of the Sporting Village after all.....
Sell off some greenbelt/parkland to pay for it. Worked well enough for Tiny Balls and Basildon Council in respect of the Sporting Village after all..... Howard Cháse
  • Score: 1

5:38pm Mon 25 Aug 14

burghcastle says...

.
. burghcastle
  • Score: 0

5:39pm Mon 25 Aug 14

burghcastle says...

I have a good idia why not sell Southend to the Chinese.
I have a good idia why not sell Southend to the Chinese. burghcastle
  • Score: 0

5:53pm Mon 25 Aug 14

Maddogg says...

burghcastle wrote:
I have a good idia why not sell Southend to the Chinese.
Have you been at the sherry?
[quote][p][bold]burghcastle[/bold] wrote: I have a good idia why not sell Southend to the Chinese.[/p][/quote]Have you been at the sherry? Maddogg
  • Score: 3

5:58pm Mon 25 Aug 14

burghcastle says...

No what we really need for Southend -on-sea is first of all to get rid of all freemason out of the council. Then Southend will grow again.
No what we really need for Southend -on-sea is first of all to get rid of all freemason out of the council. Then Southend will grow again. burghcastle
  • Score: 1

6:03pm Mon 25 Aug 14

burghcastle says...

burghcastle wrote:
No what we really need for Southend -on-sea is first of all to get rid of all freemason out of the council. Then Southend will grow again.
.
[quote][p][bold]burghcastle[/bold] wrote: No what we really need for Southend -on-sea is first of all to get rid of all freemason out of the council. Then Southend will grow again.[/p][/quote]. burghcastle
  • Score: 0

6:03pm Mon 25 Aug 14

burghcastle says...

burghcastle wrote:
No what we really need for Southend -on-sea is first of all to get rid of all freemason out of the council. Then Southend will grow again.
.
[quote][p][bold]burghcastle[/bold] wrote: No what we really need for Southend -on-sea is first of all to get rid of all freemason out of the council. Then Southend will grow again.[/p][/quote]. burghcastle
  • Score: -1

6:03pm Mon 25 Aug 14

burghcastle says...

burghcastle wrote:
No what we really need for Southend -on-sea is first of all to get rid of all freemason out of the council. Then Southend will grow again.
.
[quote][p][bold]burghcastle[/bold] wrote: No what we really need for Southend -on-sea is first of all to get rid of all freemason out of the council. Then Southend will grow again.[/p][/quote]. burghcastle
  • Score: -1

7:22pm Mon 25 Aug 14

GrumpyofLeigh says...

What a fine example of the consequences (and cost) of small councils with their vanity projects rather than one (lets call it "Essex" and embrace Southend) which might have the chance of creating and implementing "a big picture" - why exactly are there two facilities within 30 minutes of each other? How much genuine demand is there to justify two?
What a fine example of the consequences (and cost) of small councils with their vanity projects rather than one (lets call it "Essex" and embrace Southend) which might have the chance of creating and implementing "a big picture" - why exactly are there two facilities within 30 minutes of each other? How much genuine demand is there to justify two? GrumpyofLeigh
  • Score: 5

8:49pm Mon 25 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

So no one used it because it was 12inches short from the start, Err ok then.
So no one used it because it was 12inches short from the start, Err ok then. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 6

8:59pm Mon 25 Aug 14

EssexPerson says...

Why did they spend so much money upgrading most of the facilities but neglect the track?
Castle Point don't have a clue how to run the leisure centre. I stopped using the swimming pool and go to Basildon and Southend as they open late enough so that workers can actually get there in time to use it.
Why did they spend so much money upgrading most of the facilities but neglect the track? Castle Point don't have a clue how to run the leisure centre. I stopped using the swimming pool and go to Basildon and Southend as they open late enough so that workers can actually get there in time to use it. EssexPerson
  • Score: 5
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree