Council claim 25% of sports grants

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Wigtown Area Committee members have voiced their disquiet that 25 per cent of money allocated to help sporting talent in their ward is given to the local authority to pay for administration costs.

At the monthly meeting of the area committee in Stranraer on Wednesday morning, Rhins Councillor Willie Scobie told officers from Dumfries and Galloway Council that councillors must see greater detail on what exactly was costing £2,268 out of a budget of £10,557, detailed only in a report to members as ‘administration, hall fees and other associated costs’.

Councillor Scobie also called for a more robust process to distribute the £7500 left for budding sports stars. He questioned what criteria was applied to the distribution of the funding by council officers. Did they dictate to sporting bodies how the money was to be spent, or did the organisations spend it as they saw fit?

Mid Galloway elected member Graham Nicol said he had been on the sports council for ten years and he confirmed that once the money was received, it’s entirely up to the recipients how they use it, adding that all the applications were “vigorously” examined by the sports council before funding was agreed to.

Councillor Nicol commented: “I have no problem with how the money is spent but we need closer scrutiny of the administration charges”.

Wigtownshire sports organisations and individuals benefitting from funding from the Wigtown Area Committee in 2016/17 included a sailing club that received £1000 to purchase a new outboard motor for its rescue boat; a talented swimmer who received £500 to cover travelling costs to swimming competitions and training; £500 to a young footballer from Wigtownshire to train and play with Kilmarnock FC; £110 for a gifted golfer to travel to Italy to take part in a junior competition; pony club members to travel to compete in Cheshire and £500 for a Highland dancer to travel to compete in South Africa.