Commissioners change their minds about charging football club

Friday 24th June 2022 5:49 am

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Ramsey Commissioners have changed their mind after deciding to charge the town’s football club for refuse collection and disposal from their TT campsite at Ballacloan during the TT period.

At last month’s meeting, a proposal to charge Ramsey Football Club full service and domestic (as opposed to commercial) disposal costs was carried, with only Geoff Court, Juan McGuinness, Luke Parker and Leonard Singer voting against, but the decision provoked a strong reaction from the club.

At the post-TT board meeting, town clerk Tim Cowin read out a letter from Malcolm Kelly and Ray Rowley on behalf of the club.

It said it was ‘astonished, surprised and extremely disappointed’ that the board placed so little value on the benefits the club brought to the town that they agreed to charge for waste disposal from TT campsite for the first time in 26 years.

‘These proposed changes have come as a ‘kick in the teeth’, as our money is hard-earned and much-needed to maintain our pitch, stadium and clubhouse facilities,’ it said.

The letter pointed out that throughout the year, the club, which is a registered charity operated by a band of enthusiastic volunteers, provides sporting facilities for all ages and hosts training and athletic events. All its activities contributed to the health and fitness of the townspeople.

‘Every year for the TT period, the club’s campsite, which is our main money earner, brings in over 150 people at its peak.

‘All use the commercial and business facilities of Ramsey – restaurants, pubs, cafes, chip shops, takeaways, banks, post office, shops, swimming pool, Mooragh Park etc. We bring more people into Ramsey than any other establishment and our campers stay for one or two weeks, not just for the day or evening.’

The letter concluded: ’It is disheartening and dispiriting in the extreme that our own commissioners could come to such a decision. We urge you to reflect and reconsider for the future.’

After considering the appeal from the club, the members decided that no charge should be levied next year.

Leonard Singer said: ‘I am very pleased this has come back to us. Ramsey FC is a part of Ramsey life.’

Rob Cowell apologised for his earlier decision, saying he was under the impression the campsite was a commercial venture and did not appreciate that the club had charitable status.

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