Tens of thousands of pounds is to be cut from maintaining Derby's football pitches despite a horrific injury to a young player.
A 15-year-old boy suffered horrible gashes to his knee after being injured on a pitch at the Racecourse. His parents said it was because the pitches were overgrown and their son could not see a hidden glass bottle.
The incident brought forward a storm of criticism of the council from people all claiming there were extensive problems with a lot of the pitches. But Derby City Council is planning to cut £27,000 to its maintenance, part of wider reductions of £60,000 to maintenance of parks in the city.
The Derby Telegraph reported earlier that Joseph Welsh was taken to hospital when he fell on the bottle which was in the goalmouth on a pitch at Racecourse Playing Fields.
The 15-year-old, of South Normanton, was playing for Derwent FC under 16s when the incident happened, leaving him with 17 clips in his knee. He has urged the city council to cut the grass which he said was long and was why people who searched the pitch for dog mess before kick-off did not find the bottle.
At a meeting of the council's Cabinet, councillors approved plans to reduce the number of council-run pitches from 13 to seven. The council will maintain pitches at Alvaston Park, Sinfin Moor Park, Darley Fields, Chaddesden Park, Chellaston Park, Moorways and the Racecourse. Facilities will be withdrawn at Normanton Park, Osmaston Park, Rowditch, Vicarage Road, Arboretum and King George V playing fields in LIttleover.
Derby Telegraph readers have called the upkeep of Derby's parks is "a disgrace".
Sherrie Simpson said she had reported conditions at part of the Racecourse Playing Fields but said "nothing" had been done about it. "The whole park is a mess," she said. "I reported the state of the children's area over two weeks ago and nothing had been done. The amount of dog mess is disgusting too."
Katie Louise, whose nephew plays on the Racecourse, said: "My nephew plays on this pitch weekly for under-nines and you can't even see his boots. The park is such a state and it increases the risk of the child safety."
Hayley Williams said: "Managers charge players every week for referees and pitch fees. If these fees are being paid to Derbyshire council, why on earth are they not doing their job properly? Sort it out, it's disgusting."
Dave Bowler, said: "Pitches are awful, the grass is way too long. And also the park could do with a police presence on match days as people are speeding through the park on quad bikes while children are playing football. One child was nearly hit the other week."
Readers also commented on how it was not just the Racecourse that was a problem but other parks in Derby as well.
Andy Sims said: "The length of the grass on Darley Park and Alvaston Park are unacceptable, and these pitches cost £50 per game! A lot of clubs of all ages are struggling to keep running and what do you get for £50? A pitch that children from grassroots upwards are not able to play the game they love on because the ball holds up in long grass."
Images: top Alvaston Park; bottom, the football pitches at Darley Park
You can read the original article from Derby Telegraph HERE