23rd Jul, 2019

SAVE OUR BEES: Campaigners pitch key questions to Coventry Stadium owners amid 'ASBO' court case

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to ‘Save Coventry Speedway’ are satisfied that Bees’ National League arrangements at Leicester won’t have a detrimental effect on efforts to restore the sport in the city.

Bees were due to race at Leicester for the 2017 Premiership season, but the British Speedway Promoters Association (BSPA) axed the club from the league weeks before the season was due to start.

It meant Bees failed to track a team in a British league for the first time since 1948.

But following a meeting at the Speedway Control Bureau (SCB) on Tuesday, January 9, Coventry’s participation in this year’s National League was confirmed.

Many fans reacted to the news with anger after allegations were made that Mr Horton has used money from Coventry Stadium owners Brandon Estates to fund the move.

But Mr Horton has since denied these allegations and confirmed there is no financial input from Brandon Estates, who plan to build 137 homes on the former speedway site.

We have since asked Brandon Estates to confirm that they have not funded Bees’ move. We are yet to receive a reply.

A Save Coventry Speedway campaign statement read: “Our complete focus is on fighting the proposals to redevelop the stadium with the objective of facilitating a return to Coventry.

“It must be stressed that the reason why Coventry are unable to race at Brandon in 2018 is not down to Mick Horton. That is entirely a matter for Brandon Estates and John Downer.

“We needed to be satisfied that the National League venture at Leicester is not being supported financially by Brandon Estates. We have been given a categorical assurance by Mick Horton that there is no financial input from the developers.

“That being the case, we are satisfied that having a Bees team racing 30 miles away is unlikely to have a detrimental effect on efforts to restore speedway and stock car racing to Coventry.”

The move to Leicester has been hit by mixed reaction.

A Coventry Observer poll in November revealed 78.6 per cent of fans would not support Bees’ National League efforts at Leicester.

But the campaign group said a fan-base split by arguments would be the ‘worst thing’ that could happen.

The statement continued: “We are unified by our desire to get back to Coventry as soon as possible, and in the meantime people should be free to make their own choice without receiving criticism from within.

“For the campaign group it is important to maintain the momentum which was built up during 2017, where there is huge opposition to the proposed redevelopment.”

The statement concluded with a personal message to John Downer – a significant shareholder in Brandon Estates – Brandon Estates themselves and Howell & Co Solicitors (James Crocker).

The questions included:

1. Why have they continually failed with their security measures when the previous owners managed to maintain a safe environment for all over many years?

2. Why have they allowed local residents to be put at risk due to the criminal activities over recent days?

3. Why has it been left to the vigilance of locals and the intervention of the Leader of the Council to protect the site from even more damage?

4. What are they actually doing now to ensure that whilst the latest set of travellers have now left, more do not follow shortly after?

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