Euan McGrory: Yes Minister, it is a bit of a mess

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IT’S a plan with echoes of Yes Minister - or for younger readers a flavour of The Thick of It.

The city has recently introduced significant price rises for community groups hiring school sports halls. The charges will see some clubs paying a third extra in basic fees plus an additional £35 an hour at certain times of the week. The hard-working volunteers who run these clubs warn that some are likely to close as a result of the increased costs while others will carry on with decreased membership.

Today we report on a new initiative aimed at getting more young people involved in sport in deprived parts of the Capital. Left hand, right hand...

To be fair to the city council, junior sports clubs have been exempted from the price rises, but if local clubs close the coaches won’t be there to teach the kids.

The new initiative is being run with funding won from SportsScotland. It makes sense for the city council to grab that cash when it is available and make the most of it.

But it makes no sense at all to have the national sports agency working, as it should, to drive up participation in sport - while cash-starved local authorities are introducing policies with the opposite effect. Where is the joined up thinking?