Local athletes taking part in the Balloch Games. Picture by Bill Heaney

McAllister DouglasBy Democrat reporter

Clydesdale Harriers, the widely-known West Dunbartonshire athletics club, are being charged £8,000 a year to let the gym at the St Peter the Apostle in Clydebank.

Councillor Douglas McAllister, the Ex-Provost, has stepped on to the starting blocks to try to gain them a reprieve from the above inflation letting charges being imposed by West Dunbartonshire Council.

He has urged the SNP administration to back off, and asked for the full Council to support his motion to have the increase dropped.

Cllr McAllister says he is disappointed to learn that a community sports group that actively encourages participation by young people into sports activities has been subjected to an 18% increase in its letting charges.

He added: “The club targets the young people from the five mainstream secondary schools and it keeps its rates low to remove barriers for less well-off young people so that they can fully participate in their activities.

“In the Year of Young People, it is indeed unfortunate that the club had seen its letting costs increase from £7,000 to £8,000.”

He moved that the Council should call on the Chief Executive [Joyce White] to explore options and to bring a report to the next Council meeting with a resolution to the situation.

Cllr McAllister said: “This could include setting up a support grant from reserves to help the organisation to obtain financial support to keep its club fees affordable

“Alternatively, it could be a supported grant from the Year of Young People legacy fund.”

The club has been informed that they would have their access to facilities at St. Peter the Apostle Secondary School cut back, essentially locking the community out of using the sports facilities including the community use of the running track and so on.

The Labour Ex-Provost will be asking that the Council report should also explore the rationale for this change and consider the implications of reversing this so that the club can continue to provide the service to local young people.

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