East Dunbartonshire clubs appeal over summer football lets

Football clubs in East Dunbartonshire have been assured that synthetic football pitches will be available for them to play on throughout the summer.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 1:55 pm
West Park United players plead their case to East Dunbartonshire Council
West Park United players plead their case to East Dunbartonshire Council

A number of clubs - including - Baljaffray FC, Campsie FC, East Dunbartonshire FC, EDSSA, Lenzie YC, Milngavie FC, Rosebank Utd FC, Rossvale FC, St Josephs FC, Torrance FC, Westerton Utd FC and West Park Utd - made a joint approach to East Dunbartonshire Council on the issue after feedback from the council's letting department that being told.

In their letter they said they were approaching the council on behalf of the 3000 children playing for clubs and in local leagues across East Dunbartonshire.

They said: "Our clubs and leagues are eager to be the solution, not the problem and as such we are asking for your speedy response to our request.

"The initial feedback received from the letting department is that they are unaware of any plans to re-open bookings for school synthetic pitches for weekends.

"We sincerely hope that plans are afoot at senior management level to reinstate weekend match lets.

"We would also ask that any decision on this is taken in an expeditious manner to allow our volunteer clubs to prepare accordingly for matches from 1 May and ensure we can deliver on the provision of activities for children and young people to allow them to play, socialise and reconnect within their local communities and environment."

In response EDC Depute Chief Executive - Education, People & Business, Ann Davie, said: "We have previously advised clubs that weekend lets - which have been available since 6 April - would continue to be available for contact training until such times as the Scottish Government confirms that matches can restart.

"Whilst this remains to be confirmed, a move to Level 3 for East Dunbartonshire on 26 April will remove a number of existing restrictions, which will adjust the Council's operational arrangements and activities, including our letting arrangements, and planning work relating to this is currently underway."In preparation for a move to Level 3, our Letting team will be in contact with all of the Council's letting customers to discuss needs and options moving forward.

"The East Dunbartonshire Leisure & Culture Trust has also confirmed that it will take the same approach."The Council is aware of the request for availability of grass pitches over the summer months and discussions are on-going to determine whether or not the essential maintenance work can be delayed or reduced to permit the leagues to continue into the early part of June.

"However, if the work is postponed or cancelled this would lead to poor pitch conditions during the normal season of play commencing from August.

""We will be in contact with letting customers in due course, should the Council be able to extend the availability of its pitches over the summer period.

"The synthetic pitches will remain open for youth and adult football throughout the summer."