Councillor resigns after row
A PORTISHEAD councillor has resigned following a row about awarding the town's football club a new lease. Councillor Derek Rigby, who has been a councillor for three-and-a-half years, made the shock announcement following a heated debate about signing a n
A PORTISHEAD councillor has resigned following a row about awarding the town's football club a new lease.Councillor Derek Rigby, who has been a councillor for three-and-a-half years, made the shock announcement following a heated debate about signing a new lease with Portishead Football Club.Councillors had agreed to grant a new 25-year lease, subject to two years of audited accounts being submitted and a service level agreement being drawn up, to the Clevedon Road club.The lease agreement states, that as long as the club continues to provide sporting activities for young people, it will receive a 90 per cent rent subsidy, paying only £250 a year.The club, which hosts around 180 youth games throughout the football season, has 20 junior teams.But Councillor Rigby said the club should pay the going rate to lease the club and that any subsidy made by the town council eventually falls on ratepayers.Cllr Rigby said: "Portishead has little public space left, apart from the Lake Grounds, and it is inexcusable to give over this land to a relatively small group of people."I think we ought to agree a short term lease and charge a reasonable rent of £1,000 a year."It is all very well providing all these subsidised activities for the youth, but what about the elderly who are paying the council tax?"Let's do something for the older people in Portishead."Other councillors said the lease issue needed to be sorted out, as the club had been operating without one for two years.Councillor Arthur Terry said: "What the club does is good for the town because it helps the young people."But I think it would be helpful to know more about that the club's plans and how they see it developing."At the end of the debate Cllr Rigby stood and told his fellow councillors: "I am tired of coming here and listening to people who have no financial understanding."I formally resign from the council."After the meeting it was revealed that if Cllr Rigby wanted to resign, he would need to do it in writing.