Clubs to get a greater say in the running of city sports facilitiesMay 29, 2012 - 7:30am
BY CIARAN TIERNEY
Sports clubs across the city are set to be given a greater involvement in the running of public facilities if Galway City Council goes ahead with plans to grant leases of up to 15 years for pitches and outdoor grounds.
Such a move would provide a huge boost to a number of clubs across the city which may be entitled to sports capital funding to develop facilities. Such funding was not available until now because they have been tied into informal short-term leases with the local authority.
The change in policy would be seen as a ‘win win’ option for both the City Council and the clubs, as it would free up local authority resources while giving the clubs a greater sense of ownership of their ‘home’ grounds.
Most clubs in the city are currently tied down to one year rolling leases with the Council, which prevent them from seeking State funding for long-term projects such as the development of dressing-rooms and dug-outs on Council-owned lands.
The change in policy was suggested by Director of Services Ciaran Hayes in a letter which was circulated among the members of Galway City Council yesterday.
Mr Hayes said it would be important that the facilities were still available to the wider community, while the move would free up Council staff who are also required to maintain parks and green areas in housing estates across the city.
The proposed change in policy has been welcomed by Cllr Padraig Conneely (FG) who is the Chairman of the Recreational and Amenity Special Policy Committee (SPC) at Galway City Council.
“I think there are a lot of excellent clubs in the city who would be well able to take charge of the facilities and keep them in good condition,” said Cllr Conneely.
Read more in today’s Connacht Sentinel