Frustrating Council has kept outdoor tennis courts closed, says Egan

Connie Egan

It is frustrating a local Council has decided to keep its outdoor tennis courts closed, despite the Executive’s roadmap for easing restrictions allowing them to reopen, Alliance Councillor Connie Egan has said.

Executive guidelines allowing outdoor tennis courts and some other sports facilities to reopen changed from today (April 1) but despite other Councils opening their courts, Ards and North Down Borough Council has decided to keep theirs closed, until other facilities reopen on April 12.

Councillor Egan said she did not understand the move, which she has raised with the Council in a bid to secure an earlier date for reopening.

“Tennis has been shown to be very low risk and the Executive guidelines are clear – tennis can be played safely outdoors with restrictions on the numbers playing from April 1. Therefore the Council’s outdoor tennis courts should be open now to facilitate that, particularly as Belfast City Council have reopened their outdoor courts.

“This decision was made by Council officers, with it not being brought before Councillors and no vote taking place on it. It is frustrating they have decided to not reopen outdoor tennis courts today, in line with public health guidelines.

“I have raised the issue at the full Council meeting, secured cross-party support, and asked the Council officers to reconsider, instead opening them immediately. The Council Director has agreed to expedite staff returning from furlough and the necessary health and safety inspections taking place. It is disappointing that has not been done prior to April 1 but I hope it will lead to the outdoor courts being opened again as soon as possible.”