Proposals to introduce charges to use tennis courts has sparked outrage.

Last week, Hertsmere Borough Council asked the people in the borough what they thought of the public council-owned tennis courts.

The council is working with the Lawn Tennis Association to encourage more people to get involved in the sport. But the council revealed that it was also looking into new ways of managing the courts including the possibility of introducing “affordable” fees.

The proposals have been met with a backlash with many demanding it stays as it is.

Sarah Foster, from Borehamwood, described the idea as a “joke”.

She said: “I see the courts in use especially by the kids. There’s not much that’s free for the children to use nowadays and it's a great way to get them out and keeping fit. For the council to want people to pay is a joke. I applaud them for giving these kids of today a reason to not keep fit and stay indoors.”

Eve Glover, also from Borehamwood, added: “As a lifelong resident of Borehamwood, I'm appalled that our present council are even considering charging for the use of the tennis courts. They were a big part of mine and my siblings and our parents were happy in the knowledge we were safely occupied at no cost to their already stretched budget. My own sons enjoyed many happy hours at the current site in the 1970s.

“It is imperative they should remain free.”

Others say they understand why the council may want to introduce charges.

Adam Jacobs said: “Things change. We can't have everything for free forever. Perhaps the first half hour free, then a small amount to play a bit longer. That way, people who want to play a bit can do so for free and people who are more serious can pay for it.”

Hertsmere Labour ward councillor Michelle Vince said she would be planning a march against the proposals.

Hertsmere Borough Council stress that they are only gauging opinion at the moment and no decision on charges have been made. They say that everyone’s comments will be considered and urge as many people as possible to fill out the consultation.

Cllr Seamus Quilty, responsible for the environment, said: "Our parks and open spaces are a vital resource for local people and we want to ensure they continue to meet the needs of park users in the future.

"New options are being considered for managing the courts, including the introduction of affordable fees for public tennis courts, an online booking system, which would enable fairer access for everyone, and the implementation of an on-going community tennis programme for players of all ages.”

The council owns the tennis courts in King George Recreation Ground in Bushey and Meadow Park in Borehamwood.

To fill out the consultation, visit

The deadline to respond is Friday July 27.