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Council bosses face questions over bowls club closure
2:49pm Sunday 28th October 2012 in News
COUNCIL chiefs in Ryedale will face a string of questions about a decision to sell a bowls club site next week.
Ryedale District Council agreed to authorise officers to negotiate the sale of the Ryedale Indoor Bowls Club building on Scarborough Road, in Norton, in September, after the authority was told the club’s survival had only been secured by the authority halving its annual rent to £10,000 and it was effectively being publicly subsidised to the tune of almost £30,000 a year.
Selling the site could raise about £400,000, but the future of the club is now in doubt and 21 questions to council leader Keith Knaggs and senior officials on the issue have been tabled for a meeting of the full council on Thursday.
The questions councillors have posed include requests for information about the levels of consultation, the amount of public money spent on the building in the past, the numbers who use of the club and the responses to a “soft marketing” exercise which looked at retaining part of the site for bowls.
Cropton councillor John Clark has also asked for answers on why the move will mean no facilities for disabled bowls players in Ryedale and for a commitment to ensuring sports provision for older people in the district.
Councillors who have defended the sale have said the club was costing too much public money when its membership levels were taken into account and the council could not turn down the prospect of generating £400,000 in receipts when budgets are stretched.