Carmarthenshire Council accused of 'blackmail' over sports pitches plan

South Wales Guardian: Carmarthenshire Council accused of 'blackmail' over sports pitches plan Carmarthenshire Council accused of 'blackmail' over sports pitches plan

CARMARTHENSHIRE county council plans to increase the amount it charges amateur sports teams to use its pitches by up to 2,000 per cent have been described as “little better than blackmail”.

The hike, approved by the council’s executive board, will see the cost of a cricket pitch soar from £28 per match to £590 by the 2016/17 season – a rise of 2,007 percent. Using rugby and football pitches will rise from £49 to £235.

The cost for children playing rugby goes from £23 to £95 per match and cricket from £18.50 to £110.

The rise comes as the local authority looks to eliminate the £265,000 annual costs of maintaining sports grounds, but many of the affected clubs claim the hike has been imposed to force them to take over the running of pitches as part of the council’s controversial “asset transfer” programme.

“This policy is little better than blackmail,” said one club official, who asked not to be named.

“Small clubs cannot possibly meet these costs so either we take over maintenance or fold because we have nowhere to play.

“That seems like blackmail to me.”

One rugby club official said: “Based on the figures it would be cheaper for us to play at Parc y Scarlets.”

Council leader councillor Kevin Madge said: “We want to assure everyone we fully support sport in Carmarthenshire at all levels. This decision is not intended to penalise anyone, rather it will make it fairer for all.

“Asset transfer essentially means that the council is giving the facilities free of charge to community-based clubs and organisations.

"The alternative to Asset Transfer would be for organisations to continue to hire facilities and services from the county council but pay the true cost of managing those facilities.”

 

Comments (2)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:33pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Huw Thomas says...

If I go fishing I have to pay between 30 and £200 a day. Why shouldn't rugby, football or cricket players pay for the privilege of using pitches?
If I go fishing I have to pay between 30 and £200 a day. Why shouldn't rugby, football or cricket players pay for the privilege of using pitches? Huw Thomas
  • Score: 1

6:10pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Meirion says...

Each week we hear of the customers of Carmarthenshire County Council having to pay more for less services.
A question has to be reached as to whether Carmarthenshire county Council is fit for purpose.
The calibre of those paid by the public purse to run such an organisation effectively reflects in the quality of service. As the poorer gets poorer and their land and property robbed by the Establishment, the gap between those that are paid by the public purse to ineffectively act in their best interest gets wider.
Each week we hear of the customers of Carmarthenshire County Council having to pay more for less services. A question has to be reached as to whether Carmarthenshire county Council is fit for purpose. The calibre of those paid by the public purse to run such an organisation effectively reflects in the quality of service. As the poorer gets poorer and their land and property robbed by the Establishment, the gap between those that are paid by the public purse to ineffectively act in their best interest gets wider. Meirion
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree