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'SCANDAL' OF PLAYING FIELDS LABOUR DIDN'T SAVE

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Three year's after Labour's election pledge to end the sale of playing fields, scores of sports fields are still be...
Three year's after Labour's election pledge to end the sale of playing fields, scores of sports fields are still being sold for housing, car parks and supermarkets, reported The Observer (p13).

Ministers boast they have 'virtually halted' the sale of playing fields through a series of tough measures. But an Observer investigation claims this is untrue and the measures have

made little difference. Inquiries revealed that: hundreds of playing fields have disappeared during Labour's time in office; more than 100 school playing fields have gone in the past 15 months alone; schools are selling valuable sports sites to build new classrooms; two

ministers - John Prescott and David Blunkett - given special powers to prevent sell-offs have saved just four playing fields from developers; objections to proposed sales by the official watchdog, Sport England, are being overruled; the government is ignoring a growing clamour from bodies such as the Football Association and Rugby Football Union

for sell-offs to be halted immediately; and ministers are hugely embarrassed by the continuing disappearance of recreational green space, but admit the sales raise hundreds of millions of pounds.
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