Mark backs move to protect bowling greens

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MARK Menzies MP has expressed his delight after a bill to protect under-threat bowling green’s received support in the Commons.

Mr Menzies was co-sponsor to the 10 Minute Rule Bill, brought by John Woodcock, MP for Barrow.

It proposes greater protection against sell-offs of greens by introducing a new community “right-to-buy” scheme which will allow people to club together and by a green, maintaining it as a community asset.

It would also enshrine in law the principle that a green used by an existing team cannot be sold without their agreement and introduce safeguards over sharp practices – such as landlords padlocking greens shut in a bid to convince councils they are unused.

Mr Menzies said: “This bill was a tremendous idea by John and has received cross-party support.

“I’ll be honest I wouldn’t know a finger peg from a thumb peg but I know a lot of my constituents are keen bowlers who want to see their greens protected.

“I was delighted to support it and, although it wasn’t perhaps as serious of some subjects which are being discussed in Parliament at the moment, I think it was a valid issue to raise.

“Bowling is an iconic British pursuit and I think a lot of people like to see that MP’s are looking to preserve quintessential parts of British heritage.”

The Bill comes after several privately owned greens, particularly at the backs of pubs and social clubs, were sold off in recent years due to economic difficulties.

Earlier this month it was announced that the most famous lawn in Britain – at Plymouth Hoe where Sir Francis Drake played before defeating the Spanish Armada in 1588 – faces closure.

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