OFFICIALS at an amateur rugby league club have hit out at rising costs levied by the council.
Thornhill Trojans bosses have criticised Kirklees for the rates they currently charge the club to play at Thornhill Sports and Community Centre.
The Trojans were issued with a bill in excess of £1,850 for this year’s field hire.
This is made up of £326 per open age team – of which the club has two – plus charges for a women’s team and junior teams varying from £96 to £126.
The charges have been labelled disproportionate by Trojans volunteers.
Club trustee James Ratcliffe admitted the club was struggling to find the money before the season begins.
He said: “Our argument most definitely is: where does a not-for-profit community club find such money in an ever-decreasing world of sponsorship? And we believe the juniors shouldn’t be charged individually at all.
“The state of the junior field is a disgrace, with work which was promised this year seemingly not carried out.”
The club has teams ranging from children as young as three through to under 14s.
Mr Ratcliffe added: “We are providing a service for the community with so many youngsters playing, but the council are charging us so much money it is tough.
“But we have arranged a payment plan for this season.”
A council spokesperson said: “Rates for hiring a sports pitch are agreed by Cabinet and are directly related to the number of teams a club has.
“The money pays for the provision of goalposts, rugby posts and line marking, as well as contributing towards grass cutting and other site maintenance.
“The council has agreed a payment schedule with the Thornhill Trojans and are also working with them and local sports clubs to put in place a plan that enables us to carry out the required work on the junior pitch without interrupting the teams’ planned games and activities.”