Rugby’s Member of Parliament, Mark Pawsey, last week highlighted in the House of Commons the plight of local speedway team the Coventry Bees, whose future is threatened by the dispute at their home in Brandon Stadium.
The stadium, which has seen racing there since the early days of the sport in the 1920’s, is currently at the centre of an ownership dispute which has seen the Bees start this season in Leicester.
Mark is the secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Speedway and has spoken to other MPs with speedway stadiums in their constituencies about the future of speedway. The APPG works to raise the profile of speedway teams and riders around the country.
During Business Questions, where MPs have the opportunity to raise a number of different topics, Mark brought up the challenges that are facing the Coventry Bees with the Speaker of the House, the Rt. Hon. David Lidington MP. In his reply, the Leader of the House acknowledged that the governance of speedway is one for the independent governing bodies rather than for Ministers.
“I’m very concerned about the future of speedway at Brandon, as it's loss would be a major blow for the local community at Brandon. I grew up in Binley Woods and I remember going to enjoy racing there with friends and family when I was young. Speedway is a great family evening and you often see three generations of fans watching from the terraces.”
“Whilst this is not directly a matter for government, questions are being asked of a number of governing bodies in sport at the moment including a recent debate held in Parliament about the Football Association. It is important to preserve local teams like the Coventry Bees, who have a committed local fanbase now facing trips to Leicester to watch their team race.”
“Brandon Stadium is a valuable local asset with a great community history. I hope that the different parties involved in the dispute can come back round the table and do everything possible to keep Speedway racing at Brandon and will do all I can to see that happen.”