Alderman Hussey referred to the Playing Pitch Strategy and expressed concern regarding the adequacy of private club pitches, however the report had outlined that no budget had been confirmed. He asked if it was envisaged that a budget would be confirmed and when clubs could engage with Council Officers on the proposed funding that may be available. He noted that the recommendations for a capital investment programme for clubs was up to £50,000 per year and asked for clarification on the matter. He stated that within the report it had noted that Council was prepared to work with high profile clubs and asked if high-profile clubs could be defined.
In response, the Head of Community Development and Leisure advised that as one of the high level strategic recommendations, it was suggested that there would be a budget of £250,000 and that up to five clubs could receive a maximum of £50,000. He stated that it could also comprise of ten clubs receiving £25,000. He advised that detailed criteria on this would be presented to Members at a future Committee meeting. He stated that the recommendation, in terms of addressing issues around private clubs, was that currently there was a grant aid programme. However, there was currently no budget available. He advised that details of the recommendations would firstly be considered by the Capital Working Group. He further advised that outside of what was agreed to date through leisure underspend, monies would be allocated towards essential maintenance works on pitches as there is no identified budget. He stated that this would be a matter for Members to prioritise going forward.
Alderman Hussey further queried if this was included within the current rates budget considerations.
In response, the Head of Community Development and Leisure stated that the only spend to date was towards the enhancement of existing facilities such as pitch maintenance, changing facilities and storage and that all of the key strategic recommendations would be for a future date.
In response to a further query from Alderman Hussey, the Head of Community Development and Leisure advised that the work would not commence until April 2022. He further advised that it was a decision for Members in terms of identifying budgets and providing the required budget regarding the key strategic recommendations.