A BOROUGH is to create a dedicated team to look after its bowling greens.

The new specialist squad was announced at Burnley Council's executive meeting on Wednesday night after Hapton with Park Conservative Cllr Alan Hosker complained about the 'appalling state' of the surface in Padiham Memorial park.

Currently the authority's 11 greens are looked after as part of the general ground maintenance team's responsibilities.

But a review revealed that bowling greens maintenance could be delayed by other urgent work in the borough's parks and green spaces.

Borough wellbeing boss Cllr Margaret Lishman revealed to the executive and Tory group leader Cllr Hosker that a dedicated team would now take specific responsibility for maintaining the grass surfaces at the clubs.

Cllr Hosker said: "The green in Padiham is a mess. It is in an appalling state.

"It used to be one of the best in the area.

"I have had complaints from members and some have left Padiham to go to other clubs in Burnley where the greens are better.

"I welcome the new dedicated team and I want it to come to Padiham as its first priority.

"I want this green back in tip-top condition, especially for the senior citizens who use it."

Cllr Lishman told the meeting: "We have looked into this and are proposing to set up a dedicated ground maintenance team for the bowling greens the council owns.

"It will consists of a gardener and an apprentice dealing solely with bowling greens."

She said after the meeting: "Bowling green maintenance is something of a specialist skill.

"Currently the normal grounds maintenance team look after the greens which we run in partnership with the bowling clubs.

"If there is an urgent issue - such as mowing grass which had grown after a wet spell - the greens' maintenance can be deferred.

"So we have decided to have a dedicated specialist gardener and an apprentice take this over.

"We are getting an expert in to look at the greens and advise us on what we need to do to improve their standards when the season is over in mid-October.

"Bowling is a very popular age-pursuit not just something for older residents.

"We had a full-day competition and barbecue at the Briercliffe green in my ward where everybody had a whale of a time."

Burnley Council also owns greens at Barden Gardens, Cliviger, Ightenhill Park, Lowerhouse, Queensgate, Queens Park, Scott Park, Stoneyholme, and Towneley Causeway.