Haringey Council rules out tennis court charges 'in the next year'

Tennis at Priory Park

Tennis at Priory Park - Credit: Polly Hancock

Haringey Council has U-turned on a decision to explore charging to use tennis courts in the borough after an angry public reaction. 

In October the council had proposed introducing fees to use the facilities in evenings and weekend, including at those in Priory Park in Hornsey. 

However opposition councillors and park users created a petition and argued this would discourage participation in sport. 

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Cllr Alessandra Rossetti (Lib Dem, Alexandra) said: "This U-turn is a relief. Numerous comments on our petition pointed out that tennis was a fun, socially-distanced outdoor activity and said they’d hate to see children whose families couldn’t afford to pay excluded."

One Crouch End resident to sign the petition was Kate Fielding. She said: "We play tennis very informally and for fun as a family. If there was a charge to use the courts, we wouldn’t use them any more and would miss out on this activity."

Haringey's environment chief Cllr Kirsten Hearn (Lab, Stroud Green) has now ruled out charging to play tennis "in the next year".

She said the option of charging had first been considered in 2019, but added: "The charges were not implemented then, and, following further review this year, will not be now."

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She said the council had been forced to consider this move due to the ongoing strain on finances caused by government cuts and the coronavirus pandemic.