Starting today – 11 February and ending on 25 March Marlborough Town Council will be running a consultation to gauge opinion about The Common, particularly with reference to the allocation of space for sports for young people, mainly the Rugby Club’s junior teams and also for the very popular Marlborough Youth Football Club’s teams.
The pandemic has helped to reiterate how important active exercise is to the general health and well-being of the whole community, from dogwalkers to sportsmen and women of all ages. Free access to The Common is everyone’s right. The issue is whether the extension of existing facilities, equating to the size of a rugby pitch, would restrict usage for the wider population or whether this new provision is of greater importance.
Over the years The Common has seen many uses. Always evolving to reflect the needs of that generation – horseracing in the nineteenth century, helping with the war effort with a military hospital during WW2 and a school (the Secondary Modern) between the 1940s –1960s until the new school was built in Chopping Knife Lane.
Today it is home to a number of successful sports and recreation clubs – a Golf Club, Rugby Club, Model Flying Club, Marlborough Parkrun and the Tennis Club, as well as offering some space for other sports, most notably junior football. Many events now take place there too – civil war re-enactments, circuses, fairs, food festivals, car boot sales, dare devil stunt shows, even a hot air balloon take off. It was even a site for Turner Prize winning Jeremy Deller’s inflatable Stonehenge in 2012.
This superb open space is also host to the Diamond Jubilee Plantation and its fruit trees as well as much wildlife, flora and fauna – all important to those who regularly use The Common for recreational walks. So, to help future proof this, the Town Council is commissioning a survey of flora and fauna so the natural environment can be protected.
Town Mayor, Councillor Mark Cooper, said: “The Town Council is guardian of this wonderful space and must ensure that it is available for everyone for years to come. We recognise that a proposal to create more space for another sports facility evokes some strong feelings. There’s a balance to be found between making sure that Marlborough Common remains a place for all to enjoy and creating much needed sporting space for our young people. All users of The Common should be able to sit comfortably alongside each other. So, before we make any decision on this issue, I, with my fellow Councillors, want to listen to what local people have to say about it. I encourage everyone to take part in our consultation.”
Click here to complete a short survey online.
A hard copy of it is also available from:
Marlborough Town Council, Council Offices, 5 High Street, Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 1AA or firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01672 512487 or 07593 584099
Hard copies of the completed questionnaire will need to be returned to Marlborough Town Council, 5 High Street, Marlborough SN8 1AA to arrive no later than 4pm on 25 March 2021. This deadline also applies to the online survey.