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Ipswich: Council pledge on the future of Ransomes sports club

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 January 2013

Ransomes sports club

Ransomes sports club

The borough is preparing to take over the management of Ransomes Sports and Social Club next week – but promises nothing will change for users.

The council has owned the sports and social club, in Sidegate Avenue, since 1994 after it was sold by Ransomes. The sports and social club was given a 15-year lease to continue to run it.

Since 2009 it has been run on an ad hoc basis by the club but last year the council warned it was seeking major changes because of concerns it had about the way it was being run.

Notice to quit was served on the management committee in the middle of last year, and that runs out next Tuesday.

However borough councillor with responsibility for leisure Bryony Rudkin said the changes should not affect clubs and teams that use the club.

She said: “We’ve been talking to the users and have worked to reassure them that we will continue to run the club as they want it – right down to details like how we provide sandwiches to junior footballers.

“We have experience of running sports facilities around the town and we will be looking at developing what we have there. We want to be able to attract more members.”

The clubhouse is thought to need a considerable amount of work spent on it, but Mrs Rudkin said it was not possible to evaluate the extent of the work needed until they had been running it for some time.

She said: “Once we have taken over the management we can have a really good look at the building.

“If it does need to be closed while work is carried out we have experience of that – look at Crown Pools.”

Local councillor Judy Terry, a member of the opposition Conservative group in the borough, warned that the decision to take over the running of the club could be expensive for council taxpayers.

She said: “We would like to see the community running the club or an independent trust – we know there needs to be a lot of work spent on the building and that could be very costly.”

n Should the council take over the club? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

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