May 25 2013 Latest news:
John Phillips , Senior Reporter
Friday, August 31, 2012
A football player has likened pitch charges handed down to teams at parks in Barking and Dagenham as an unfair tax.
Abul Kalam, 36, of Dagenham Oriental FC, slammed council bosses after it emerged teams were asked to pay nearly £70 for each game.
His newly formed side has been playing at Parsloes Park in Dagenham but is now considering moving to another training ground.
The father-of-three, of Heathway, Dagenham, said: “There has been a lot of cashing in by local councils.
“They take it out on people like us. It seems unfair on us as taxpayers.
“More pressure is being put on working families and they are paying more to the council.
“It’s a free park. You shouldn’t be charged for using it as well.”
Mr Kalam spoke out after the Labour council unveiled new measures to improve the condition of its pitches and ensure match fees were collected at parks in Barking and Dagenham.
Fixed goal posts have been removed and portable ones are now being made available for games.
The council charges £68.50 for each game but stressed season bookings were also available.
A Barking and Dagenham Council spokesman said: “The council works with the FA and local football leagues to ensure we provide a large number of bookable playing pitches.
“The fees these clubs already pay is a contribution to the costs of maintaining the pitches, goalposts etc.
“The new arrangements will ensure that only clubs who pay fees and abide by terms and conditions can use the bookable pitches for organised games. It will also ensure that goals and goalmouths remain in good condition.
“Charges only apply to organised matches using goalposts. There is no charge for casual ball games in parks.”
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