Enfield Borough Council has defended its failure to provide parking for bowls players, which they claim led to the closure of their club.

Southgate Bowling Club in Broomfield Park, Palmers Green will close this summer after 91 years.

Players, including secretary Michael Davis, claim numbers dwindled due to the lack of on-site parking, which meant members were forced to walk long distances with heavy bowls and sporting equipment.

But the council’s cabinet member for environment, Councillor Chris Bond, said: "We do not accept that the lack of parking outside the bowls club in Broomfield Park has in any way contributed to the decline in membership as parking by the clubhouse has been banned for the decades the club has been based there.

"Unfortunately the proposals put forward by the club for parking in Broomfield Park were impractical and unacceptable because they would have created excessive vehicle movements through the park and endangered the safety of people such as children and dog walkers who frequent it.”

Members had been in talks with the council to find a solution to the parking problem but were unable to resolve the issue.

Membership had fallen from more than 200 people when the club first opened in 1921, to just 32 people this year.

Cllr Bond said the council is “genuinely sad” that the club is closing down, and claims he is happy to keep talking to club members to see if there is any other way the authority can assist them.

Members of the committee made the decision to close the club before it fell into debt next year.

The council leases the clubhouse to the private club, and members are questioning what the authority's plans are for the building and the bowling green.