A message from Islington Council:
We have been monitoring the status of the pavilion for some time now. Prior to the new season it was noted from observing the crack monitors that the building seemed to be deteriorating. We felt it was necessary to have a structural engineer review the building before the season and unfortunately they concluded that the building was no longer structurally sound and not safe for the public to enter. We then e-mailed all users of the facility to give them notice that they would not be able to use the pavilion.
The building is now uneconomical to repair and requires replacement. This as I am sure you realise will cost significant sums that need to be fundraised for and will take time. We are as Jerry has said to you looking at options. We approached the school to see if there was scope to use their facilities but they said no. We are also in the process of getting costs for a temporary facility but this will depend on whether we can get something affordable to hire for the period. We are happy to hear other suggestions about how we can manage the situation on a temporary basis and if you wish to have a gazebo that would be possible subject to demonstrating that you can meet the attached criteria and it is below a certain size.
I am also happy to arrange a meeting with yourselves and any of the other pitch users to discuss the situation and provide an update on progress with short and long term solutions to the issue.
I agree that ideally we would have had a replacement ready before this but we have a very large deteriorating asset base and we simply do not have the resources to replace all that is required or the resources to proactively fund for everything that requires it, and often it is only when something is closed off is it possible to start getting resources allocated. I agree that this is not how things should be but these are difficult financial times.
In answer to your specific questions we have not offered a reduced rate as the cost of the hire is really for the field itself, irrespective of whether the pavilion is required or not. However if we are not able to find a solution in the near future then this is something that we would be willing to look at. With regards to the footballers I am aware that you have had a lot of correspondence with Barry Emmerson on this issue. We recognise that it is not an ideal situation but the Council has decided it is not practical to prevent the footballers from using this space and that the better less confrontational approach is to try and work with them to ensure the impact on the cricket field and the bookings is minimised.
I hope this clarifies our position and I will arrange for a meeting with yourselves and the other regular teams once officers have returned from Easter leave. I am sorry again that you do not feel your concerns have been adequately addressed.
Kind regards Andrew Bedford
Head of Parks Environment & Regeneration Department Public Realm Division Islington Council