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BDJFL suspend all competition games on Schneider Road playing fields

Yesterday morning the Barrow and District Junior Football League suspended all games due to the state of the Schneider Road football pitches.

Ben Shirley, Chairman of BDJFL said: "Following a meeting of our executive committee, the Barrow & District Junior Football League have taken the decision to suspend all sanctioned competition games on the council run playing fields on Schneider Road with immediate effect. The suspension will remain in place until such time that our concerns have been satisfactorily resolved. This decision has not been taken lightly as the effect that it will have on local children being able to play football is great. It will be difficult for teams to fulfil fixtures and may be difficult for us to ensure the season is completed. However, the decision has been taken with the safety of our children, referees, volunteers and spectators firmly at the forefront of our discussion.

"The site on Schneider Road was publicly scrutinised on social media this weekend and has further confirmed concerns that have been raised by the league with the council on numerous occasions over many years. Our concerns include under maintained pitches, litter and broken glass with our main concern surrounding the excessive use by inconsiderate dog owners who allow their pets to foul on the playing surfaces and do not pick up after them. Several bags of faeces were collected from a single pitch before and during a fixture this week and this has been a regular occurrence for many years.

"The committee are hugely disappointed that we have had to make this decision but feel that we cannot continue to risk the health and safety of all of our users and must take steps to protect them.

"Further concerns have also been discussed around the playing fields located on Biggar Bank. The changing rooms have been unusable for a number of weeks and a faulty boiler means that the site has no hot running water. At present the league have not decided to suspend fixtures at this site but are closely monitoring the situation.

"It is our aim that the children of Barrow and its surrounding areas are able to play football, in safe, clean and suitable environments and our volunteers work very hard to achieve this. We believe the current conditions of the playing fields on Schneider Road fall well below these standards and that the local community deserve better."

Last year, the management of these facilities lay with the Barrow Playing Fields User’s Association and Barrow Borough Council have been looking for football clubs or organisations to take on the management of the Schneider Road and Biggar Bank playing fields.

ZEST Community Action Group have shown and expression of interest in the Biggar Bank Playing Fields, however it is not known if anyone has shown an interest in Schnieder Road.

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