SNP councillors in South Lanarkshire have been “inundated” with angry emails and phone calls after the Labour minority council more than doubled entry fees for sports facilities. 

A petition calling for the decision to be reversed has already reached over 3000 signatures.

Certain clubs are now facing a significant 114% hike in fees.

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During the council meeting on 22nd February, a report proposed changes to concessionary rates for under-16s clubs, leisure facilities, and hall lets.

Although the SNP members on the authority opposed the changes, the Labour and LibDem administration, backed by the Tories and Independent Group, voted to implement them.

As a result, the changes were approved with a vote of 34 to 27.

UTD Sports Football Academy, based in Cambuslang, expressed serious concern at the changes which will see their pitch costs rise by 114% for their affiliated junior teams.

A spokesperson for the football academy said: “This astronomical increase has been relayed to all clubs with only 3 weeks' notice.

"This will put extreme stress on local grassroots clubs to afford training & match day facilities at a time when everyone is already finding it hard.

“If this is to continue then it is likely several clubs will cease to exist leaving countless children and young people without access to weekly football. This will have a negative effect on both the social and mental wellbeing of our children and young people.

“We would urge all parents and coaches of all clubs in South Lanarkshire to contact their local councillors and put pressure on them to reconsider these abhorrent increases.”

Katy Loudon, SNP councillor for Cambuslang, tweeted: “I've never received so many emails on one issue in such a short period. People are rightly furious and very worried.

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"All of our @SNPSouthLan group voted against this concession cut. The Administration need to own this, and explain how they will support local clubs, and quickly.”

An SNP council group spokesperson called the whole situation “avoidable.”

They added: “The sustainability of many local clubs is now a real concern.

“We proposed a budget which included £2m additional funding to SLLC which would have removed the need for this level of price increase.

"The administration and their pals need to own this decision and explain how they will support local clubs and do so quickly.”

South Lanarkshire Council have been contacted for comment.