By referee, 12/01/18
Beaminster Walking Football Club have been left in the dark following a dispute over an electricity bill with Mountjoy School.
The Walking Football Club has been running for 4 years and is one of many local teams who use the facility at 1610 Beaminster Sports and Leisure.
Paul Evans said, "In the middle of November we thought the floodlights were not working and assumed it was a one-off. Then we found out they were unavailable and we thought ‘what’s going on?’ It went on for ages before I found there was problem with Mountjoy School. For some reason, the electricity for the pitches goes through the school and it has to give permission for the floodlights to be on and off.
“Every month we pay in advance, so we would just like some answers. We’re a group of elderly and retired chaps and walking football keeps us fit. For us, it’s lovely to be involved in a team sport again and we all love playing football like we did in our 20s; it’s very frustrating.”
A spokeswoman for Mountjoy School said, "The school was not involved in the running of the pitch, but the meter for the lights is attached to the school’s electric."
She went on to add, " The arrangement is that when an organisation uses the lights, 1610 pay us for their use.”
“We know that the pitch is an important asset to the community and the lights are charged at considerably less than the published hire rate. “There have been occasions where the lights have been left on overnight, which is not only bad for the environment but also leaves our school with a bigger electricity bill."
“We have discussed the matter with 1610 and are waiting for a system from them that allows us to know the exact usage of the lights so that our school and our pupils are not financially disadvantaged.”
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