PONTYPOOL RFC officials concerned for the future of the historic club at its Pontypool Park home have held “positive” talks with Torfaen council members, as they look to secure the ground from further arson attacks and anti-social behaviour.
Corporate director of the club Ben Jeffreys led others in a meeting with council leader Councillor Bob Wellington and chief officer for neighbourhood yesterday Christina Harrhy on Monday, following calls for help in recent weeks.
He said the club was seeking full enclosure of the area used by the club, to prevent shocking findings of needles on the pitch and nails driven into the try lines, and that there seemed to be universal agreement at what needs to happen.
“As a club we have considered leaving the park, and looking at alternative sites” he said. “But that would likely take us away from Pontypool and we don’t believe that is something which would be of much benefit to anybody.
“We want the site secured so we can invest in the pitch and stand with peace of mind. There was agreement between ourselves and the council over what is best for the club, park and town.
“We are grateful to the council for giving us the opportunity to discuss the issue with them and for expressing a commitment to the case.”
The two parties are now said to be in collaborating over costs and logistics.
Also at the meeting was Torfaen AM Lynne Neagle who highlighted Pontypool RFC’s plight in the Welsh Assembly last week.
Speaking in regards to the ensuing WRU-regional rugby row, she said she represented a constituency where rugby is “simply a life-and-death matter”.
This week local councillors also threw their weight behind Pooler.
Pontypool Community Council chairman Councillor Giles Davies said losing the club from Pontypool would be “final nail in the coffin” for the town.
He called for funding to secure the site from future attacks worth thousands, and said it would be a “small price to pay” to protect the town’s ‘asset’.
Pontypool ward councillor on Pontypool Community Council, Cllr Gaynor E James, added: “We certainly don’t want to lose Pontypool RFC.”