South Wales Guardian Opinion

SPORTS clubs throughout Carmarthenshire are being urged by Carmarthenshire County Council to take over the running of pitches.

That’s all very well in theory – but how many of them can really and truly afford it? Most are run on a shoestring budget, as anyone who has ever been involved in local sport can testify.

The council is offering clubs two options – to support sporting clubs and town and community councils to take over their facilities or to ask clubs to stump up maintenance fees.

Both will inevitably lead to hefty price hikes which will particularly hit young people in the pocket – the very people who would benefit from the use of sporting facilities.

The big fear, of course, is that the financial shake-up the local authority is proposing – and this financial earthquake registers a 10 on the Richter scale – will drive kids away from sport and on to the streets.

Council leader Kevin Madge insists the decision is not intended to penalise, but rather make a previously unequal system fairer for all.

But he has also issued the stark warning that unless organisations are prepared to work with the council to retain community facilities, they will have to close.

That, in a nutshell, is the dilemma our sporting community is having to face.

 

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