THE EXTENSION of a consultation period on the future of local bowling clubs’ financial arrangements has been this week welcomed by local councillor David May.
Councillor May said that the status quo will continue for this season, which begins in April, and allow members time to more effectively consult their members and convey their views to Angus Council.
Some clubs are facing a substantial increase in rental and maintenance costs after a council report highlighted inconsistencies in their agreements with the authority and a decision that subsidies would be withdrawn. Locally, Inch Bowling Club was told that the increased costs would be effective from April 1 although they challenged the council on a proposed eight-month consultation period which had been part of the report agreed by elected members last November.
Mr May said: “The good news for clubs is that this stay of execution also means that the proposed changes for the new leases will not be introduced for this bowling season but the new date will now be November 1.
“However, what has been proposed by the council will cause enormous problems for many of the clubs in Montrose and in some cases threaten their survival.
“Furthermore, for some bowling clubs in our town, having now to pay maintenance costs of up to £8,000 per year, the water and electricity charges, and rentals to the council, added to that of several hundred pounds would be impossible.
“This is especially true as the membership of many of the clubs are pensioners and some who are also on the basic state pension.”
Inch Bowling Club president Kenneth Marvelley said that, following a meeting on Thursday with a representative of Angus Council’s property services, its current arrangement will continue for this season.
He said: “There are still a few ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ and we’ve asked the council for a breakdown of the costs they have for us. We need that before we go out to tender to see if we can beat these prices, but from our point of view it was a good meeting.”