A Glenrothes councillor has hit out at Fife Council over its decision to force the closure of one of the town’s longest serving social facilities.
The Courier this week revealed that the Fife authority, which owns Warout Stadium, has served notice on the stadium’s management committee terminating the lease from the end of July.
It is a move committee members say leaves them no option but to close the stadium’s social club after 47 years.
Councillor Ross Vettraino has now accused the council of a decade of mismanagement in its liaisons with the committee, which he said had been “very poor”.
For 40 years the club had operated on a long-term lease agreed between the two parties but in recent times the club’s management has refused to pay anything claiming that the rent demands were inflated and wholly unrealistic.
“The council’s management and administration of the entire facility at Warout has been very poor,” said Mr Vettraino.
“It is a matter of deep regret to me that the Glenrothes Football and Recreation Club, which has served the community well, should find itself in such a position.
“The initial rent, which is being demanded is not at all reasonable.
“Council officers have based the rent on the club’s culture 30 years ago but times have significantly changed since then and social clubs all over the country have been closing down.
“Recently we have witnessed the closure of Bowhill Club, the Gunners’ Club in Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes’ British Legion.
“There is no organisation that could afford to pay what is being demanded and there is a real possibility that Warout Stadium will wind up unoccupied, will fall into disrepair and be a target for vandals.
“Moreover, as empty premises, it will cost Fife’s council tax payers £8,000 per year.”
Michael O’Gorman, service manager for estates confirmed this week that he expects the stadium to close, adding: “In the short term the property will be remarketed.
“Glenrothes area committee has recognised the potential for the stadium and its adjacent land by commissioning an external consultancy study to explore the possible opportunities.”
Mr Vettraino, a member of the management committee for the past 10 years paid tribute to volunteers.
He said: “The committee, supported by the council, has done a great job in keeping Warout open.
“I cannot praise enough the work that has been done by the handful of volunteers who have freely given of both their time in the service of the club.”