Bowls row over Leamington park could yet be resolved

Campaigners fighting against a move to allow bowls players to take over a Leamington park have prompted council officials to consider changing their options.

Warwick District Council, which manages Victoria Park, has agreed to enter into talks with Bowls England after a campaign - which has now gathered the support of almost 2,000 people - formed against plans for participants in the National Bowls Championships to park their caravans on the park for almost two months each summer from 2014. Campaigners have argued that families who depend on the park for recreation during the school holidays would have nowhere else to go.

The council held a drop-in session at the park’s bowls pavilion last Thursday, which 150 people attended.

Following the session, the Friends of Victoria Park group, which has set up an online petition against the plan, released a statement that said: “We are very grateful to the council for arranging a very professional event and finally consulting with park users in this way.

“But we are concerned that our views are still being marginalised.”

A spokeswoman from the council said officials were discussing a range of off-site options for caravan pitches and parking with Bowls England.

Cllr Stephen Cross, who manages policy on culture, said: “With any large sporting event comes pressure on the local community and the organisers to ensure smooth running and a safe environment.

“Having listened to park users and local residents, we still believe that bringing the extended national championships to Warwick district is the right thing to do and we will continue to consider all options to make the event as accessible, safe and enjoyable as possible for all.”

To find out more about the campaign group, visit and to find out more about the plans for Victoria Park during the championships, visit