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Queensbury councillor says ‘Give us back the £10,000 for pitch’
A councillor in Queensbury has demanded a rugby club repays £10,000 of public funds after it failed to deliver a new pitch.
Queensbury Rugby Club was given the money in 2009 by Councillor Paul Cromie to help develop an additional pitch at its Hill Top Ground.
Coun Cromie (Ind) and his wife Councillor Lynda Cromie allocated £10,000 – out of a joint pot of £66,600 – to the club from money allocated to ward councillors following the sale of Leeds-Bradford Airport.
But, more than four years on, the club still has not developed the pitch – although treasurer Andy Thornton insists the money has been used for its intended purpose and that the project had just experienced delays.
Coun Cromie said: “I have instructed the area co-ordinator’s office to reclaim that money because the project has not been delivered.”
He added: “The way I look at it is the fact that it has not delivered the project that we allocated the money for. So, why? Where is it? We want it back so we can allocate the money to another deserving project in the village.
“The main thing is about getting the club up and running for the kids and community. We have got to move forward.”
Mr Thornton said all the money had been spent on pitch work, but that the project had suffered various setbacks.
He said: “The pitch is not finished, and there are several reasons going back over the years.”
First, said Mr Thornton, was a boundary dispute with a homeowner nearby who claimed he owned 30 metres of the field. That took two years to resolve, meaning work had to be stopped.
Then, the club discovered that the conditions of area it was going to improve were worse than they thought.
“A couple of areas were swamped,” he said. “One lad got his Range Rover stuck and needed a tractor to get him out.”
Mr Thornton said some work was carried out in 2011, including putting hardcore and soil down, and added that the club got a donation of soil in 2012.
“This turned out to have a lot more stone in than we wanted and then the summer of 2012 it never stopped raining,” he said.
In spring last year, Mr Thornton said a digger and dumper started turning soil out – work that he said is now two-thirds complete.
He added: “There has been plenty of work done. The money has been spent and I have got the invoices but the job isn’t finished.”
Mr Thornton said the club was holding events to raise the extra cash needed to complete the work. He added: “We are hoping to finish the pitch this summer ready in time for 2014/15 season.”
A Bradford Council spokesman said: “We are in contact with the club and seeking to resolve the issues around this funding.”
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