Hire charges at Hellesdon Community Centre could be a ‘serious’ breach

Angry members of Hellesdon Bowls Club, who are to be charged £5 per game by Hellesdon Parish Counci

Angry members of Hellesdon Bowls Club, who are to be charged £5 per game by Hellesdon Parish Council to use the nearest toilets in Hellesdon Community Centre, or have to walk all the way round to the front public toilets. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Controversial hire charges at the Hellesdon Community Centre will be reviewed after football clubs told parish councillors they could end up breaching FA regulations.

A new hire charge which includes the use of the changing rooms is being imposed after Hellesdon Parish Council took control of the community centre at the beginning of the year.

But junior football teams – who do not currently use the changing facilities – say that if the FA believes they are using, they could be accused of breaching regulations stating juniors cannot share facilities with adults.

Clerk Patricia Kirby said the charge for the changing rooms was an 'inclusive cost, and whether you use them or not is irrelevant'.

Adult teams will be charged £675 for the season and junior teams £575.

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Gary Greenwood, of Firside Athletic Youth FC, said it seemed like 'quite a huge increase'.

'You are charging us for a facility we are sharing with two or three other teams, and we are not even going to use,' he said.

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Last year Hellesdon FC paid £400.

Club chairman Paul Carrick added: 'With only two changing rooms being available – and sometimes more than one game being played – with the use of youth and adult changing rooms you have potentially serious issues going against FA protocol. You have the possibility of FA welfare officers getting involved.'

Since protesting against a £5 charge for them to hire the same changing rooms for their games, Hellesdon Bowls Club have met councillors and are awaiting new proposals.

Parish council chairman Shelagh Gurney said they had a 'very good discussion'.

'We have agreed with the club that we would work to see if we could find a resolution to some of the issues raised,' she said.

'Because we are going to have a review of the situation with the bowls club, it would make sense to look at the charges for all outdoor clubs.'

Despite protesting at rent increases, the footballers have promised to stay on for another year because the work of the groundsman was 'better than any in the country'.

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