For immediate release:


Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey has strongly criticised South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture for their response regarding the decision to cut youth club discounts for pitches, halls and swimming pools.

It comes after hundreds of local residents protested against such fees increasing by 114%.

Up until now, children’s teams enjoyed a discount of 75 per cent for pitch lets – that will now become 50 per cent.

South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture recently announced they were deferring plans to hike costs until they have had the opportunity for “further engagement with clubs”.

In their response to Clare Haughey MSP, SLLC refused to state the scope of such engagement nor clarify when the deferral will end.

Instead, one of the suggestions that SLLC have made is that if 70% of team members were in receipt of certain benefits, then the club could be awarded a 25% discount through their ‘Leisure for All’ scheme.

This provoked a strong reaction from Ms Haughey who called the suggestion “absolutely shameful”.

Commenting, Ms Haughey said:

“The response I received from SLLC was nothing short of ridiculous.

“There was no detail on how they will engage with clubs and no confirmation on how long the eye-watering price hikes will be deferred until.

“Instead, they are wanting parents, guardians and kids to show up to their clubs with proof they are in receipt of benefits like income support, housing benefit, or working tax credits. This is absolutely shameful.

“It should not be left to parents and guardians to declare their personal circumstances or to have to discuss their income with their child’s sports coaches in order to reduce short-sighted fee increases. Whether or not your family is in receipt of benefits is no one else’s business.

“The Labour-led South Lanarkshire Council leader should stop hiding behind SLLC, get a grip of the chaos he and his party have presided over, and scrap the price hikes without further delay.”

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