Uckfield Town Council has approved in principle a contribution of £135,000 towards building an all-weather pitch in the grounds of the town’s community technology college.
Members of the council’s general purposes committee made their decision at a meeting of the general purposes committee on Monday.
A letter from a member of the public was read out opposing the contribution saying the council shouldn’t be spending any more money in this economic climate than necessary to maintain essential services.
Cllr Brian Marsh also raised concern about the amount of money involved but was told that it would be contributed at a rate of £8,050 a year and not in a lump sum. After 15 years the council’s involvement would cease.
Cllr Alan Whittaker urged members of the general purposes committee to show leadership on the matter. He pointed out the council had happily spent £70,000 on the cemetery and it was important to invest in facilities for a growing town.
He added other organisations would be contributing to the total £½ million cost and until the rest of the money was in place the council wouldn’t be called on to invest.
Cllr Ian Smith warned of the danger of “throwing the baby out with the bath water”.
He pointed out the Football Foundation had offered a major grant but if the rest of the money wasn’t forthcoming then the grant would be withdrawn and there was little prospect of it being made available again.It would be transferred to another project in another town.
Cllr Smith said other local sports clubs had offered support and so had the community college.
Uckfield Mayor Cllr John Carvey proposed the contribution of £135,000 towards the project should be agreed in principle and the recommendation was carried.