Cock-a-hoop over basketball post

PUBLISHED: 16:11 12 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:22 06 May 2010

Riley and Leo convinced the council to put up a basketball post on Bernard's Heath

Riley and Leo convinced the council to put up a basketball post on Bernard's Heath

SPORTY twosome Riley Griffin and Leo Stamatiou have come up trumps after persuading the council to put up a basketball post near their homes. The boys, both aged 12 and pupils at Sandringham School in St Albans, put forward such a persuasive case for a po

SPORTY twosome Riley Griffin and Leo Stamatiou have come up trumps after persuading the council to put up a basketball post near their homes.

The boys, both aged 12 and pupils at Sandringham School in St Albans, put forward such a persuasive case for a post to be installed on Bernard's Heath that the district council agreed to their request.

Riley explained: "We are both really into basketball and didn't like having to go to Oysterfields or Verulamium to play so we were walking home and I said to my mum about it and she said you should apply to the council."

Their arguments won over the council's sport and healthy living portfolio holder, Cllr Sheila Burton, who was very impressed by the way they had canvassed their friends and done their homework.

She explained that the location had been chosen because the Friends of Bernard's Heath had not wanted it installed too close to the children's playground and the police were anxious that it should be in the middle where it was visible to passing patrols.

She added: "It is exactly the same as the one at Foxcroft and we have agreed to make the tarmac green so it doesn't stand out. In relation to the size of the heath, it is just a tiny little speck.

"It is quite close to the playground and as inconspicuous as possible. These were two enthusiastic lads and I think we should be encouraging them."

But at least one neighbour is unhappy about the positioning of the post and the nine-square-metre tarmac surface which he fears could serve as a magnet to young people hanging around the heath, particularly at night.

The neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: "This is an historic battleground site and common land. No-one with any understanding of aesthetics, wildlife and the effect on a battleground from the Wars of the Roses would put it there. The best place for it would be on the Lower Heath.

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