Last night I attended the EGM at Bassingbourn Snowsports Centre which was called to discuss the future of the slope. Excellent attendance as the place was packed with concerned members. The slope has been in existence for 40 years and if a popular destination for people both local and far afield. Each year ERSA holds a summer league race at the slope which continues to be a popular event.
The landlord, Defence Infrastructure Organisation – DIO, has issued the termination notice and the club has to be off the land by the end of March 2013. Interestingly the Army who also use the site want to the club to remain. They have done the same for all the other clubs on the premises. However over the last few weeks the club has been looking at alternative approaches regarding access to the slope and how to ensure it continues. These options were recently presented to the DIO but have been rejected, unfortunately no explanation of the rejection has been provided. The DIO would appear to just want to take the easy route and shut the site and get rid of everyone regardless of the impact on the community, which is a great shame.
If you have been to the slope in the last couple of years you will have seen the huge amount of work the club has put into the slope, new matting and and fantastic new club house. It will be a great shame if all this was lost not just for the people of Bassingbourn but the region as well.
Last night the committee gave an update on where they are with the DIO and also the local council, who are fully supportive of keeping the facility. Accessing the site from alternative routes is certainly going to be a costly challenge and the ideal solution will be for the DIO to keep the site open to those who are using the site. It appears that everyone wants to keep the site, the volunteers are have done a good job with the site and membership but the only one blocking it is the DIO. The fact that the DIO hasn’t even bothered to say why they will not accept any other options does not help. To get this moving again I think there is definitely going to need to be some political pressure.
One of the other options being considered is relocating the club to another site. Now this is going to be a major challenge in itself but is one possible option. Last night Mick Woolhouse from Cambridge Sport Lakes provided a bit of background about the training facility which is being worked on close to Cambridge. This was a very interesting discussion and presents a very valid possible alternative site but does require much more investigation.
Anyway the fight continues over Christmas and into the New Year and the next meeting is likely to be the 11th Jan. Let’s hope it is good news. If you are able to help with the fight or have any political swing contact the club.
There is an online petition, please complete it and forward to others.
The Facebook page will continue to be updated as well.