25th Sep, 2018

SAVE OUR BEES: RUGBY MP Mark Pawsey becomes the latest name to back the campaign

Shaun Reynolds 1st Mar, 2017 Updated: 1st Mar, 2017

RUGBY MP Mark Pawsey has become the latest person to back The Coventry Observer’s ‘Save Our Bees’ campaign, just days after it was announced the world-famous club were axed from the SGB Premiership.

Mr Pawsey, who grew up in Binley Woods, backed The Observer’s campaign on Monday afternoon following growing concern from fans on social media about the club’s long-term future

Our campaign calls on all parties – including the Bees, CoventryStox, Brandon Estates Ltd, and Rugby Borough Council – to resolve the current crisis and get the Bees back on track for next season’s SGB Premiership.

Speaking this afternoon, Mr Pawsey said he was disappointed to hear about Bees’ closure on Sunday and reflected on the first time he attended a speedway fixture.

He said: “Speedway racing took place just down the road from where I grew up so it was a part of my childhood.

“I remember the first time I went to watch speedway well – it was on a Saturday night, myself and a friend climbed up to the top of this tree so we could watch the racing before quickly heading back home.

“That was some 40 years ago though and now the crowds are obviously a lot smaller but I still love the sport just as much.”

Though Mark is unable to submit an Early Day Motion (EDM) – used by MPs to draw attention to an event or cause – he has raised the current issue the Bees face with Leader of the House The Rt Hon David Lidington MP.

He questioned the governance of the sport of speedway and called for the topic to be debated.

Mark also told The Observer the option of discussing the Bees’ future with Coventry MPs Jim Cunningham, Geoffrey Robinson and Colleen Fletcher is a possibility.

He said: “The situation the Bees find themselves in parallels the issues at Coventry City Football Club.

“I have supported the work Coventry MPs have done with Coventry City FC and I can get in touch with those MPs when it comes to the speedway.

“People who live in Rugby support Coventry FC – similarly people in Coventry support the Bees, so it’s of interest and talking to Coventry MPs is an option.

“I’ve questioned the Leader of the House and written to the chairman of the BSPA.

“My letter questioned the governance of the sport and asked how this has been allowed to happen.”

Mark is secretary of the Speedway All Parliamentary Group, which discusses issues related to the sport and provides a point of contact between speedway and Parliament.

The group started several years ago following an email received from Newcastle MP Nick Brown.

He said: “APGs bring together members of both houses – MPs and peers – and I’m a member of a dozen.

“There wasn’t one for speedway at the time so we set it up and its been running five years now.

“It’s very difficult to find a new site the Bees could race on – mainly due to planning restrictions and concerned residents.

“This is why a campaign to keep the Bees at Brandon is essential.

“A consultation has been held before regarding Brandon Stadium being developed into housing – what struck me most about this consulation was not only did local residents turn out, but also speedway fans.

“There was tremendous concern from fans of the Bees.

“I hope the Coventry Observer campaign proves successful and am sorry I cannot make the photo-call outside the stadium a week on Friday, though I hope fans turn out to show their support.”

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