Folkestone & Hythe District Council are once again to consider selling Folkestone Indoor Bowls Club, on Cheriton Rd, Folkestone (situated between the Harvey Grammar and Morrisons).
The land on which the Bowls Centre sits is owned by FHDC who purchased the Cheriton Sports Ground site (which includes the bowls centre), on the 24/12/2004, for the princely some of £750,000.
A report which will come before the Council’s Cabinet led by Cllr David Monk, in Dec, details offers made for the Cheriton Rd Indoor Bowls Club site and the potential relocation of the bowls club. This is of course will happen behind closed doors.
Back in Jan 2018, we announced the Council were considering selling the site, but nothing came of it at this time. At that time it was two supermarkets who’d made offers for the site. But the site didn’t sell and remains in the councils hands.
However, this time around the Council appear to be more serious about offloading the site. This is because hidden in their payment to suppliers data, there are two payments made to Directline Structures Ltd related to the Indoor Bowls Club amount to £4,494.
Directline Structures Ltd ultimate owners are Directline Holdings Limited and the person with significant control of this company is, Ms Katherine Barker. They are based in Ashford.
Katherine Barker(below left) is a Chartered Architect and Director at Directline Structures. She has been part of the business since 2008 and was made Director in 2016.
Coming back to the Bowls club, we note current KCC Cllr, Dick Pascoe remains a director of Folkestone Bowls Association Limited. He has also been Head Coach. What if anything does he and the other directors of the company know about a possible sale of the site?
At the time of the last potential sell off by the Council when Dick Pascoe was on the Council, he “was appalled to see that there was a proposal by Shepway District Council to sell off the Folkestone Indoor Bowls Club.“
He believed then, “selling off of the Folkestone Indoor Bowls Club would be a terrible mistake.“
Does he still hold to that view, now he is NOT a sitting District Cllr?
Folkestone Indoor Bowls Club is the ONLY indoor bowls facility in the district!
It is a community asset that provides a place for many local people and others from surrounding towns and villages with a gentle sport. The club has provided facilities for over 50 years and includes a fine restaurant, bar area (all recently refurbished) and of course the playing area.
The facility is not only for the elderly, there is a strong junior section there with children as young as 8-years-old. Two such youngsters previously went through the junior section and were later selected to play for England!
Council Grants of £30,000 were given to the club in 2017/18, to maintain and repair the building. Why sell it off and see this money wasted?
Will Dick Pascoe strongly urge the members of the Council’s Cabinet to refuse the sale of the club; and keep this community asset for the benefit of local and not so local residents? Only time will tell.
The Shepway Vox Team
Dissent is NOT a Crime