Field campaigners: ‘We’re being ignored’

Moor Lane field in Newby
Moor Lane field in Newby

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save a playing field from being sold off have accused Scarborough Council of ignoring them.

Members of the ‘Save Moor Lane Field’ group claim they are still awaiting a reply from the council in regard to letters they hand delivered to the authority’s leader, Cllr Tom Fox, on September 19.

Around 100 letters were delivered by the group, urging councillors to take another look at plans to sell off Moor Lane Field, in Newby, to build affordable housing.

When the Evening News contacted Cllr Fox, he said that he had sent an acknowledgement to the groups co-founders, Lyn Johnson and Hazel Basset on September 19, as well as replying to the six borough councillors who have spoken out against the plans.

However, Newby and Scalby parish councillor Stuart Gething said he had personally delivered 11 letters, and has yet to receive a single response.

He said: “It doesn’t day much about the council if they can’t even be bothered to acknowledge us. It just seems like they have put the letters in the bottom of a draw and forgot about them.”

Scarborough Council’s website states that all letters should be acknowledged within three days, and that a response should be received within 28 days regarding the query, a deadline that has now passed.

It is unclear who the responsibility of replying to the group lies with.

Cllr Fox said that both Mrs Basset and Mrs Johnson should have received and passed on the message to the rest of the group, and that the logistics of writing over 100 individual letters of reply meant that not everyone would get a reply.

The Evening News has been unable to contact either Mrs Basset or Mrs Johnson for comment.

However, Cllr Andrew Backhouse, who has long campaigned to save the field, said he had spoken to Mrs Basset within the last week and she claims she is yet to receive an acknowledgment.

Cllr Backhouse added: “Most people are just going to think ‘Why did I even bother writing in’ if the council are not going to have the decency to at least write back to them.

“Most people don’t bother writing letters, so when they do, and they get no reply, it just puts them off, and who can blame them.

“It might seem like a pain sometimes, but it’s one of the things councillors should be doing, otherwise it’s going to stop people wanting to get involved.”

A further decision on the fate of the field is expected to be made at a council meeting in November.