THE PRESIDENT of a Kirkcaldy bowling club claims there is a ‘strong possibility’ it could face closure in the wake of Council cuts.
Colin Morrison, of Beveridge Park Bowling Club, said its committee intends to fight plans to completely withdraw financial support from April 2012. The news was given to clubs at a meeting with officers last week.
From next April they will have to do their own green and pavilion maintenance, pay for greenkeepers, fork out for rates ... and buy and maintain their own machinery.
Mr Morrison described the news as ‘‘a bombshell.’’
He said: ‘‘I expected us to be told that we had to pay for electricity and water rates, but was shocked to hear that we would have to pay for everything else too.’’
The grim news was given to officials from Beveridge Park, Bowhill, Gallatown and Ravenscraig Park Bowling Clubs by senior officers last Thursday.
Mr Morrison (65) said: “The parks department has been talking to us over the past three years but it came as a surprise to be told to ‘take over the club or close’.’’
For Beveridge Park’s 40 members that could mean being asked to stump up £200 each for their membership.
Added Mr Morrison: “I do think there is a strong possibility of closure. The Council suggested we try and find sponsorship - but who is going to sponsor a bowling club?”
He added: “It has been suggested that clubs amalgamate but that will not necessarily raise the required revenue and will only serve to reduce the facilities within the area.”
Jim Hooton, service manager, parks and countryside, defended the cuts.
He said: “I have been dealing with clubs for the past three years and every year have been telling them this is going to happen - that we will stop subsidising them.
“The level of subsidy required is around £500 per bowler and we can no longer afford to pay this.
‘‘We have given them a year to get themselves sorted out. They won’t be thrown in at the deep end and left to sink or swim.
‘‘We will offer assistance - there are a lot of options there. But they were aware this was going to happen.”