BOWLS players who use pitches in WGC are celebrating after a U-turn by council contractors means they will be able to play this year.

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After a long-running battle Finesse Leisure, which runs the bowls greens at King George V Playing Fields on behalf of Welwyn Hatfield Council, has relented and employed a full-time attendant to run the pavilion and oversee the site.

Finesse’s previous refusal to stump up the cash for the attendant had threatened this summer’s bowling schedule and has resulted in many bowlers abandoning KGV in search of new places to play.

But on April 2 Cliff Rogers, president of the Welwyn Hatfield Bowls League, said he and other bowlers were called to a meeting with top council figures including Welwyn Hatfield Council leader John Dean, chief executive Michel Saminaden and Cllr Alan Franey, where they discussed the running of the bowling greens.

Mr Rogers said: “We told them it was just impossible to run the pavilion [with volunteers] and we said that the bowling clubs were leaving KGV.

Then he said Cllr Dean made an offer to fund the attendant, which left the bowlers shocked, as their fight has been such a long-running saga.

Mr Rogers added: “We were so amazed we just accepted it there and then.”

With the uncertainty over the future of KGV seemingly at an end, Elsie Anderson, honourable secretary of Parkside Bowls Club, has appealed for lost and new bowlers to come to play at the greens.

She said: “Contrary to the rumours circulating in the local bowling fraternity, bowling is available at KGV and Parkside Bowls Club is still alive and well.

“This is due to a last minute change of heart by the leaders of Welwyn Hatfield Council.”

Mrs Anderson praised the WHT for our continued coverage of the bowls row.

“The Welwyn Hatfield Times has helped to retain a great local facility for the use of local residents and we are most grateful,” she said.

“Parkside Bowls Club would welcome new members as, due to the uncertainty of the last few months, we have lost many members to other clubs.”

She said the club was arranging a full programme of friendly, league and club matches and competitions.

■ To get involved in bowls at KGV call Mrs Anderson on 01707 896489 or email elsie_anderson@sky.com

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