Please all note, this petition is now on hold. Discussions are in place for a resolution – Many Thanks for your support.
As you are probably aware the bowlers of South Park currently pay the Darlington Parks Bowling Association (DPBA). This means we pay them to look after North Park and North Lodge Bowls Green. We receive no benefits as a club and no repairs from the DPBA, we pay our fees to them and have to find further funds to provide basic equipment for our members.
Currently we abide to the DPBA’s unwritten rules, are rarely invited to meetings and we are yet to see any accounts this year, let alone an AGM for the 2014 Season. We do not feel the Association is running a democratic system and they certainly have little positive impact on Bowls played at South Park.
Darlington Borough Council currently has the responsibility of the day to day running of our green due to their commitment from lottery funding of South Park, however the bowlers of South Park are effectively trapped in the middle – the facility is getting considerably worse season upon season, vandalism is increasing, and public respect has gone.
We basically look to disband from the DPBA and become part of the South Park Community to safeguard the future of the facility and its players.
We have attempted to negotiate and have made proposals offering the DPBA a significant donation to ensure we do not ruin their endeavours. (that is not our aim).
The Council kindly was willing to act as mediators to help find a middle ground and the 1st meeting seemed a good start. Unfortunately the DPBA stalled the day before the 2nd meeting with no future discussion date suggested other than they weren’t willing to discuss fees themselves until at least September and have distanced themselves from any involvement with South Park.
The result of this means we are now pleading to the Council to set us free and are no longer willing to sit and watch our facility/clubs go under without a fight!
I have regular meetings with the Park based staff to discuss our issues and despite how great they have been so far they are yet to make a decision to influence the issue either way. We expect to get 100% of the bowlers at South Park to sign but feel our case will be strengthened if we can show a wider audience from the sport in Darlington.
We have seen what wonderful things Hundens Bowling Association are doing with their freedom and despite us not having their membership numbers and willing volunteers they have inspired us to aim high.
The Long Term Plan
We are forming a South Park Bowling Association for all the Parks Bowlers; this is to become a fundraising Association and hopefully charity. We aim to raise funds for extra works not undertaken now such as green repairs/boarding repairs/a mini fence around the green. Basically anything that improves the environment for the bowlers and more so the park itself.
We are forming an allegiance with Friends of the South Park and are building relationships with Darlington Borough Council and Darlington Quoit Club. We have also started bringing clubs/junior groups to the Park such as the Districts Scouts. We aim to further this by inviting school groups and offer coaching sessions on set dates every year to encourage new bowlers.
1. To give the facility back to the people of Darlington and Join in with the Parks Annual Events (allowing public access to the green on these days)
2. To improve the facility.
3. To promote the sport.
If successful everyone in Darlington is welcome to join our Association free of charge to have their say on decisions regarding the facility. This will be a democracy and funds gained from bowler’s fees will be used to benefit Bowls and the Park and we must be flexible to everybody’s needs!