Angry Llandysul residents are calling for fair play for their sports facilities as Ceredigion braces itself for severe budget cuts.
Locals packed Tysul Hall on Wednesday night for a public meeting to discuss county council plans to cut the £20,000 grant received by Cymdeithas Chwaraeon Llandysul to maintain the grounds, used by the village football, cricket and bowls clubs.
Cllr Alun Williams told the meeting, chaired by Cllr Peter Evans, that a severe reduction in funding, passed on from central government had forced difficult decisions throughout the county, as the council had to make savings of £9.6million this year.
Cllr Williams said: “None of this is good news for any of us. I think it’s horrendous, the council has no option but to make these savings. It’s very tough for the whole county.”
He added that of the 40 sports clubs in Ceredigion with grass pitches, only Llandysul and Penparcau were given this type of financial assistance for maintainance, while others raised funds and worked with volunteers, often on top of paying leases.
He added that the county would provide assistance in helping the clubs to make arrangements.
“I’m quite sure that with the strength that is in Llandysul sports club, it can be successful.”
Cllr Peter Evans thanked groundsman Mike Turner for his work.
He said: “The playing fields in Llandysul are the envy of the county.
”We are all eager to keep and maintain the playing field in their present condition and preserve them for the generations which follow us.”
Bowls Club secretary Neil Watkins said: “I feel that it’s a huge injustice here that we are being told they are taking our money away. There has been no consultation.”
A member of the public said: “You are taking the heart and soul out of Llandysul once again, and we are stuck in the quagmire.”
Another added: “I feel that the community of Llandysul have had more than our fair share of cuts.”
A local cricket team member said: “Llandsyul cricket club is one of the best ambassadors for Llandysul and Ceredigion, and yet this is what happens to us. I think we are being treated very unfairly by Ceredigion.”
Community Councillor and Cymdeithas Cwaraeron member Keith Evans said: “We are the poor relation in Ceredigion.
“We have witnessed over the years that it’s the smallest communities that are picked on. All we ask is for parity, and for you to look again at your budget deficit. There are other ways of making cuts.”
Residents added that the area was used by the whole community, including the local schools, and one local suggested a section could be used as allotments to generate income.
Another resident stated: “We can’t carry on accepting cuts. We need to know we are being treated equally with other communities in Ceredigion.”
Cllr Evans told the meeting that the football club would now be looking for sponsorship as a way forward to help cover costs.
He added: “Difficult decisions have been made and these are the consequences. It’s alright to vent your spleen, but we have to move forward and find solutions.”