Grassroots football pitches across the Gateshead borough may no longer be maintained under proposals put forward by Gateshead Council.
At a cabinet meeting held on November 20, the council proposed to cease the maintenance at a number of bowling greens and football pitches under their governance in an attempt to bridge a budgetary shortfall.
A spokesperson for the council suggested that they have been forced to make cuts in a number of areas due to the reduction in funding that is provided to them by the national government.
A Gateshead Council spokesperson said: “Due to reductions in Government funding and increasing demand for services, Gateshead Council has an estimated funding gap of £29m over the next year.
“When we’re facing funding pressures of this scale, we must look at all the options available to us; fairness is at the forefront of our minds while we look to balance the needs of local people and the resources available. Our focus has to be on supporting the most vulnerable in our communities.
“There are difficult choices to make so that’s why it’s so important that all concerns are fed into the consultation process so that they can help inform the council’s final budget decisions at the end of February.”
Football pitches affected by this proposal Map:
Outraged members of the public took to social media to complain about the proposed cuts:
I’m fairly certain they won’t be the last council in the region to do it but this is a disgrace from Gateshead Council. Killing off grassroots football https://t.co/Fq1Qdiz5Jk
— Mark Carruthers (@MarkCarruthers_) November 21, 2018
Gateshead Council stopping maintenance of local football l pitches. That will end local football and stop progress of young players. Hope So Tyneside do not follow suit local football is part of our community and keeps local youngsters off the street too
— Jonesandy (@Jonesandy13) November 25, 2018
The proposals are still in the public consultation page, if you’d like to express your views on the matter you can via this link.