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bigcatdiary

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bigcatdiary last won the day on June 14

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  1. bigcatdiary

    Tigers v Aces

    That’s the biggest mistake they made with this years team building Blodorn instead of Brennan, but it’s easy with hindsight isn’t it.
  2. bigcatdiary

    King's Lynn v Oxford 17/06/24

    I presume most of them were well out of camera view then because the supporters we sawn the terraces and seats were few and far between, it looked a shocking attendance no doubt affected by the Eurosport cameras.
  3. bigcatdiary

    Swedish GP Malilla Saturday 15th June

    Any news on todays draw
  4. bigcatdiary

    Oxford v Witches 13th June

    Personally I use the BBC, if it’s a meeting I am planning to attend then I follow that up with rainfall radar. If the meeting is on BSN it’s a no brainer but of course you can never be sure one way or the other with forecasts, I think clubs could do more with a couple of updates during the day on its website but unfortunately not all clubs provide a good service on their websites.
  5. bigcatdiary

    Peterborough Panthers 2023

    Posted on the Peterborough City Council Planning Application Portal this morning, an objection by the BSPL and SCB. The following has appeared on Peterborough City Council planning portal: F.A.O: James Lloyd Dear Sir, REF No: 23/00412/OUT and No: 23/00400/OUT This response should be read in conjunction with our comments of September 2023, all of which remain on the record. Following the additional reports submitted on April 19 on behalf of AEPG regarding planned redevelopment of the East of England Showground site, resulting in the permanent loss of speedway, British Speedway Promoters’ Ltd (BSP) and the Speedway Control Bureau (SCB) wish to reaffirm our total opposition to the scheme. Additionally, we wish to make the following comments on the Leisure and Community Impact Assessment Report, as prepared by Collison & Associates Ltd. We refer specifically to Section 2 – Assessment of the Viability of Speedway. We have no comment to make on the nature of the lease arrangement for Peterborough Speedway to operate at the East of England Showground; however, it is clear that a sport which ran continuously at the venue from 1970 until its closure (with the exception of one season due to Covid) meant that it was fully established and accepted in the city, and well supported. In addition to Peterborough Panthers meetings, the venue staged numerous national and international events, bringing the world’s top riders to the area. Consequently, it is even more disappointing that when alternative plans for the site were being formulated, no thought appears to have been given to the possibility of re-locating the Panthers, which we submit contravenes National Planning Policy Framework, which specifically protects sport and recreation facilities where there is a continuing need. Attention is drawn to the final paragraph of page 11 which states “Anecdotal evidence from British Speedway” which we would respectfully suggest should ring an immediate alarm bell. There is no evidence whatsoever, either on our own website or elsewhere, to suggest that the vast majority of a speedway crowd is not made up of supporters of the home team. There is an attempt to suggest that because a rally in November 2022 attracted around 350 supporters, this was reflective of the Peterborough fan-base, which is a ludicrous position to take. Rather than quote ‘anecdotal evidence’ we would ask why the authors of this report have not communicated with ourselves to establish the true position. The authors have provided no evidence to back up their claims as to the average attendance at the East of England Arena, which has in fact been substantially higher than 1,000 in recent seasons, and the reference to declining attendance in autumn is also a work of fiction, given that meetings which are staged in autumn tend to be important play-off fixtures, hence in autumn 2021 when Peterborough clinched the league title, attendances were in fact at their highest level in years. Page 12 also quotes “national evidence shows speedway is a declining sport” and goes on to make reference to a Guardian item published in 2019. Many of the arguments which follow have already been disproven in the recent public inquiry into the closure of Brandon Stadium, Coventry, which also quoted the same document, and we urge careful studying of the Coventry case. In particular, the section concerning TV figures is an inaccurate and disingenuous reflection of the position, and also takes no note of the current very successful arrangement with Eurosport/discovery+ as well as live streaming with the sport recording significantly increased viewing figures over recent years. Material in this section has been largely copied and pasted from other planning reports, which have been disproven elsewhere and accepted as inaccurate by their author. Page 12 also includes a bizarre and frankly irrelevant section relating to meetings being affected by the weather. It is also inaccurate, given that the NDL Final in 2023 was not between Mildenhall and Leicester – it was between Oxford and Leicester. Speedway, like any sport and particularly motorsport, can of course be affected by the weather, but the argument of “forcing paying attendees home without witnessing any matches” ignores the point that attendees would be allowed into the re-staging free of charge (or paying a proportionate admission should a meeting be abandoned during the event). The statement “This risk exists as conditions are only fully known once riders attempt riding the track, with the NDL final being called off after a leading rider suffered an accident” is completely false as the NDL final proceeded in satisfactory conditions, there was an accident in the 12th race out of 15 which was not related to the track being “slippery”, and then in the period whilst the rider was being attended to, heavy rain did move in and it was therefore not possible to continue. The result was then declared according to the provisions of the rulebook based on the races which had taken place. This section appears to have been included to ‘pad out’ the report, and to give the impression that the authors have some knowledge of the sport, because it has absolutely no relevance to the issue under discussion. The closures of Wolverhampton and Swindon are referred to, and these are also matters which we would take issue with. The argument of speedway shale reaching the greyhound track at Wolverhampton was only made some time after the closure notice had been given, in response to a public backlash. Speedway and greyhound racing do exist in the same stadium elsewhere in the country at venues such as Birmingham and Sheffield. Entain simply took a decision which was hugely unpopular locally in order to further boost their profits. Swindon Speedway was not in an unviable financial position, and we would be happy to discuss the very specific circumstances of that club and that venue should you wish to take the matter further. Across pages 13 and 14, Collison & Associates Ltd make reference to the argument that speedway at Peterborough is unnecessary due to the “alternative provision” available at King’s Lynn and Leicester. We say this is totally false. There is no evidence that the closure of one club results in supporters of that team transferring their allegiances elsewhere. It is the equivalent of Manchester United FC being closed down on the basis that supporters could instead visit Liverpool – or, on a lower level, Peterborough Utd being closed down with supporters instead told to go and support Leicester, Northampton or Cambridge. The argument is a total non-starter, and again has been proven to be factually incorrect in the Coventry case. Reference to Mildenhall Speedway is again irrelevant in this case as this was a club operating in the third tier, the development league, and whilst we do hope to welcome them back into the sport in future, their position should not be equated in any way with that of the loss of a Premiership club such as Peterborough. In conclusion, the narrative of this report (namely the assertion that speedway is a sport in terminal decline) is rather lazily copied and pasted from previous planning applications which have either not been determined (Arena-Essex) or have been accepted by an Inquiry Inspector to be untrue (Coventry). We would also like to take issue with recent media comments made by Mr Butterfield of AEPG which are intended to create the impression that speedway at the Showground was never viable, and that the objections to his plans are from a “small cohort” of people, remarkably describing them as “selfish.” He appears upset that the thousands of objections are delaying his bid to get spades into the ground and houses built. We would suggest that a sport which operated for 53 years (despite Mr Butterfield incredibly stating that “its home was never here”) was quite clearly viable for all concerned, and perhaps the only time when it did not become viable for the owners of the site was when they had removed all other events from the venue. Mr Butterfield should also be aware, as doubtless the members of the planning committee will be, that large sections of the report, and indeed his own statements, are irrelevant as viability is not a material consideration in the National Planning Policy Framework. NPPF instead puts the onus on the developer to prove that the displaced sport/land/activity is “surplus to requirements”, which is not the same as viability, and this exercise clearly has not been undertaken here. One way in which AEPG could ensure their scheme was compliant with National Planning Policy Framework would be to provide an alternative venue, in the Peterborough area, for the sport which they have evicted, or indeed to modify their own plans to support its retention at the Showground. However, as things stand, we believe there is no way this proposal should be accepted – or, realistically, even taken to planning committee – whilst the reports are so deficient and so full of falsehoods about our sport. Regards Nikki Jameison Neil Vatcher BSP OFFICE MANAGER SCB CO-ORDINATOR 2 M: 07868 466818 T: 01788 560648 E: nikki.jameison@britishspeedway.co.uk W: www.britishspeedway.co.uk British Speedway Promoters Ltd : ACU House : Wood Street : Rugby : CV21 2YX
  6. bigcatdiary

    Oxford v Witches 13th June

    Well to be fair the information and evidence was in the public domain, the sensible choice was surely BSN. As for the new trend to call it off early based on forecasts, I applaud clubs for this, it surely saves a lot of time and expense all round.
  7. bigcatdiary

    Oxford v Witches 13th June

    In the past they actually had some shale on the track most of the time and the bikes pre lay down were a lot easier to control.
  8. bigcatdiary

    Ipswich v Birmingham KOC 2nd Leg 06/06

    Not altogether surprising, the only real surprise to me is they dropped Zach in the first place, he was one of their better signings this year.
  9. bigcatdiary

    Kings Lynn v Sheffield 6/6

    Lawson for Musielak, Lambert S for Palm Toft and Pickering riding according to the Lynn preview, if Pickering is up to speed this should be a walk in the park for the tigers
  10. bigcatdiary

    Birmingham v Ipswich KOC June 3rd

    Injuries have clobbered you this year but your team set up with two massive big hitters is the way your promotion has gone whilst others have a more balanced side. It pretty much worked well in 2023 but plans have badly come unstuck in 2024 after a bright start and that unfortunately is speedway, you always need a fair slice of luck in this game and at the moment you haven’t got it.
  11. Doesn’t get any easier for the witches does it
  12. Has been said today Dan has Covid
  13. bigcatdiary

    Czech GP Prague

    Rubbish Grand Prix but the usual fare at Prague unfortunately. Lovely city but the speedway leaves a lot to be desired. It does however show that when it needs to, the meeting can be done quickly especially with a poor weather forecast.
  14. I think everybody knows the answer to that question
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