Wales

Bridgend sports clubs say hike in fees will force closures

Representatives from sports clubs
Image caption Representatives from sports clubs gathered at a special Bridgend council corporate overview and scrutiny committee meeting on Monday

Sports clubs in Bridgend say they will be forced to close if they are made to pay a 500 per cent increase in charges for pitches and pavilions.

The decision to hike fees was taken by Bridgend council's cabinet in October.

Meeting on Monday, club representatives said players would be priced out from taking part in matches, and clubs would not be able to continue.

Cabinet member for communities, Richard Young, said "there is nowhere left to go, we have literally hit the buffers".

Michelle Mitchell, secretary of Porthcawl Town Athletic FC minis and juniors, said sport gave children and adults the chance to experience winning and losing as well the opportunity to socialise and take part in physical activity.

"I'm speaking from the heart - please don't do it, we are going to be stopping a new generation from playing," she said.

Mr Young said he had "immense sympathy," according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

But he said: "Over the last 10 years we have lost £36m. We have to cut another £30m over the next four years.

"We can't do that and continue in the way we have done."

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