Towards the end of 2022 Town Councillors in Carterton were delighted to have given permission to begin drafting up a lease extension for Carterton FC. The council voted unanimously to instruct legal officers to draft a lease extension for the club and at the meeting over 50 members of the public also attended. It was so lovely to see young players in their football kits and holding signs and banners to show their support for the club at the extraordinary town council meeting.
The club’s land belongs to Carterton Town Council, but the clubhouse and all the facilities were built by residents and members of Carterton FC. The club have been offered the opportunity of grant funding, but they need a 30-year lease to be successful.
Improving sporting facilities in both Carterton and West Oxfordshire is something we are all passionate about and will continue to work with our local communities on. Carterton Town Council are also exploring a few options to improve the facilities for sports clubs on the rec and we will shortly be seeking the views of residents on what they feel is the best option.
With the growing number of houses in our local area it’s crucial we get the key infrastructure in place to support these new homes and families moving in. This includes sport facilities that will mean our local clubs have the best places to teach the next generation different sports. We have been told by local clubs about the increase in demand for sports like football especially amongst girls after the incredible win by the Lionesses last year in the Women’s Euro Championship. If we are to do our bit in helping to create the next generation of sporting stars, then it’s up to us at local council level to step up and act to make sure they have the facilities they need.
We only have to look at the Labour-run Town Council in Witney who have been heavily criticised by local teams recently after the council stopped clubs from playing on the Leys recreation ground. We should be letting local sports clubs kick balls not kicking them off fields. The reaction from the community and pressure from local Conservative councillors and our Member of Parliament resulted in Witney Town Council investing in improvements to the ground to make it usable again. This pressure also made West Oxfordshire District Council adopt a new Playing Pitch Strategy and a dedicated staff member to help deliver it. With important local clubs like Witney Vikings having a waiting list of around 100 young people, West Oxfordshire urgently needs more grass pitches and more astro-turf pitches to help meet demand.
For now, I am really pleased we have been able to agree to move to the next stages with Carterton FC and with Carterton Town Council now working with legal representatives to work on a lease extension I’m confident of a bright future for the club. We are very aware that Carterton FC is a crucial part of the towns history and our community and we want to ensure our local teams have the facilities they need to grow and succeed.
This is what your local Conservative team will keep on campaigning and pushing for as we owe it to this generation and the next to do something.