Support the grass roots
May I congratulate Trevor Hunt on his article in Thursday’s Post (Grassroots is where we need to put game’s funding). My opinion is that Trevor is absolutely spot-on in all points.
Sport England have reduced funding to the RFL, this is the governing body to all junior clubs. These clubs are run in the majority of cases by UNPAID volunteers. Yet they are expected to maintain their clubs on shoestring budgets. Very little funding is available, and seems to go to the same clubs constantly.
The summer rugby is leaving clubs struggling financially for support to better their facilities. These clubs are the bread and butter of our great sport.
The likes of Judes, Pat’s, Rose Bridge, to mention a few, constantly supply a string of players to the pro game. Yet what reward do they get?
Some of the unpaid volunteers have to pay out their own pockets for training courses. This is the backbone of our game and should be an RFL priority. Unpaid volunteers should not be out of pocket because of their love for the sport.
Many hundreds across the borough give up a minimum of 10 hours per week. Surely they should be supported and their clubs looking for better facilities to continue in the game?
We constantly support dead ducks like Toronto, rather than support the areas where stats will show the game is a hotbed and growing.
The sport needs a massive shake-up at the top, or in a few years’ time the game will consist of about 12 pro clubs while the junior clubs should have the full backing of any funding available and be spread about.
There should be a criteria where each club has the same facilities to give each and every player the same benefits.
Why do players go to rugby union? More money, better facilities and, more importantly, better support to the players on and off the field.
Change it at the election
Thank you for publishing our letter in Thursday’s WEP. We took particular satisfaction from its juxtaposition with your editorial. Both headlines could be seen in the same glance... “We must pay for services” and “Fury over proposed bin rota changes”.
Both the people responsible for providing policing services and those managing refuse disposal face the same problem... dealing with lack of money.
In the Page 7 article by Andy Moffatt, a couple of the people he had spoken to were anticipating that the proposed new arrangements for refuse collection would leave large families facing difficulties. They have our sympathy.
Six hundred residents were reported as ‘being furious’ over the planned changes. With respect, we think they should be careful about what they wish for. Rising costs and the council’s shrinking budget preclude the possibility of spending meaningfully more money on refuse disposal.
What the council is consulting about doing is introducing more efficient ways of working, intended to avoid putting pressure on Council Tax. The furious 600 would be even more furious if that was to rise. Perhaps, taking a lead from the council, it may be better for residents to consider whether they could load their bins more efficiently.
Wigan Council has to do the bidding of the elected UK government. If you like the policy, credit the government. If you would prefer a different policy, there may be years to wait before you can do anything about that. But keep it in mind when the time comes.
Couns Michael McLoughlin, George Davies and Lawrence Hunt
Labour, Wigan Central Ward