MPs could debate the governance of the sport of speedway following the latest Business Questions meeting in the Houses of Parliament.
The idea of a debate was raised by Rugby MP Mark Pawsey, who highlighted the current situation of the Coventry Bees speedway team to the Rt. Hon David Lidington – Leader of the House of Commons – last week.
Mr Lidington has since invited Mr Pawsey to discuss the current situation facing the Bees with Sports Minister Tracey Crouch MP, who would be interested to hear what is happening regarding speedway in the midlands.
Following a bitter off-season dispute between the Bees, CoventryStox and Brandon Estates Ltd – the owner of Coventry Stadium – fans of the Bees must now travel an additional 29 miles each way to watch their team compete at Leicester’s Beaumont Park stadium.
Speedway has been taking place at the popular Brandon facility since the 1920s – however unless a deal can be reached, the sport will not return to Brandon again.
Mark said: “I’m very concerned about the future of speedway at Brandon, which is 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.
“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.”
Mark is secretary of the All Parliamentary Group for speedway and has talked to other MPs with speedway stadiums in their constituencies about the future of the sport.
During Business Questions, Mark requested the governance of the sport to be debated in parliament.
He told the Rt. Hon. David Lidington MP: “I do not know whether you have ever attended a speedway meeting, Mr Speaker, but that fast, exciting motor sport has always attracted a family audience.
“Speedway racing has taken place at Brandon in my constituency since the early days of the sport in the 1920s.
“Unfortunately, as a consequence of a dispute over the use of the stadium at Brandon, the Coventry Bees will start the new season this summer 25 miles away in Leicester, at great inconvenience to local fans.
“May we have a debate on the governance of this sport?”
In response, Mr Lidington said: “I am sure that if my hon. Friend were to draw his concerns to the attention of the Minister for Sport she would be only too delighted to see what is happening in the speedway world in the midlands.
“As he has suggested, however, the governance of the sport is a matter for the independent governing bodies of the sport rather than a matter in which Ministers should intervene.”