Civil Service Sports Club faces closure threat

July 03 2018
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Local residents will know the Civil Service Sports Club on Filton Avenue as a much-used and appreciated community space.

On 9th April the staff and management committee of the Bristol Area CSSC were informed in person by the CEO Simon Lee and the Director of Volunteering and Business Delivery, Andy Shaw, that the CSSC Estates Strategy recommended that the club should be closed by the end of September 2018.

The club is fighting the proposal as the popular sports and social facility is busier than ever and is a very valuable local resource. Members, visitors and local residents are angry and outraged as the timescale for consultation is far too short to allow for a fair process.

Tony Nelson, the Chair of the Bristol Area CSSC, says: ‘The club is a welcome community space in an area not over-endowed with green areas. With 13 table tennis teams it is the biggest and best equipped club in Bristol, and also hosts eight football teams, two netball teams, the largest skittles league in the area, the Ultimate Frisbee Club (their women’s team will be competing at the World Championships in the USA this summer) and many other sports besides. Ashley Down and Filton Avenue schools use the playing fields for sports and wildlife days, having no grounds of their own. Sporting facilities aside, the club function rooms are constantly busy accommodating societies and groups, seminars, meetings, team building exercises, wedding receptions, wakes and parties, among other events and the club’s annual fireworks display is renowned in the area for its excellence and charitable Fundraising. In these days of growing obesity and concern over inactivity, the importance of physical exercise is universally recognised as beneficial for our health and well-being and it goes counter to common sense to close this popular, well-used and well-equipped sporting Venue.’

The Bristol committee are managing the campaign to keep the club open and encourage all those who feel strongly about this proposal to email their comments to handsoffourclub@bristolcssc.co.uk . They will then be included as part of the submission to the CSSC.

Two such messages are included here, showing the strength of local opinion:

Hello,

As a CSSC member and serving Civil Servant, I would like to formally submit my objection to closing the club for the following reasons:

It provides an essential service to the local community and members, allowing families to come together in a safe affordable social setting. It provides an affordable space to the local community and members for social and sports events. CSSC Bristol seem able to offer an affordable solution to ensure the premises are viable.

There has been no proper consultation with the committee and members who have the knowledge and expertise to inform such a decision. There is a severe shortage of large meeting rooms in DES Abbey Wood and the club is an essential affordable resource for holding large meetings and team events.

It is more important than ever before to ensure we have safe outdoor spaces to encourage physical activity, especially for our children, and the loss of this club would be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of its members and the local community. The committee do a fantastic job in organising days out, theatre trips, annual fireworks, etc. Funding alternative more expensive venues for sports means less money for this type of activity. This would deny those that benefit so much from these events even if they do not use the actual sports club itself and this is especially relevant for those with young children. My 6 year old went to Legoland last year to see Father Christmas and loved it. As a result of this my husband has now become a member of the CSSC to enable him to participate in such trips in the future. This has brought more revenue to CSSC as a whole and without events such as this I don’t think my husband would have joined and I am sure this is probably the case for lots of other family members.

I sincerely hope the decision to recommend closure of this club is not acted upon. It would be a great loss to members and the community as a whole and I think that Bristol based members of the CSSC would seriously reconsider whether to continue their membership.

Regards,

Kerry Lovell

Proposed Closure of Bristol CSSC Club.

Dear Sir,

I am opposed to the closure of Bristol CSSC club, because it belongs to its members, not some corporate type that wants a balance sheet to prove they are competent at the expense of its membership. This club and its land is highly valued by civil servants and the public alike.Other than the Muller Road pitches there is no green space like this within easy reach of the people of north Bristol and indeed Bristol in general. Where will folks go once the club has been closed down and the land sold off for housing?

It is not your remit to close a facility such as this, it’s within your remit to listen to your members (and the public) and behave as an elected officer and do the bidding of the many, not bow to the select faceless few in suits.

You should be ashamed of yourselves, and your greed for worthless trinkets in your ivory towers – Listen to the people of Bristol who wish for this club to be left open! And why not invest in the facility and attract young people from the streets today who will be our heroes of tomorrow by actually doing something positive for a change….

Ah well never mind – may your children and grandchildren grow up in a concrete jungle without sport or a sporting facility nearby – You must be very proud!!!!!

Many Thanks

Stu Watts

The threat of closure is very real and could come to pass this September if the battle to save the club fails. Please support us!