Edinburgh Council demand removal of Hutchison Vale's controversial container for goalposts
Edinburgh council has been accused of heavy-handedness after issuing football club Hutchison Vale with a legal letter demanding the removal of a metal storage container from a city park.
At the request of council officials, Sheriff Officers have issued a breach of lease letter to the revered youth team, stating that the offending container be removed no later than Friday.
Housing the club’s goal posts and other sporting equipment, the container was placed in Clermiston Park as a means of creating space to allow boxing club Meadowbank ABC to operate out of Hutchison’s pavilion.
The boxing club says it has lost up to 90 per cent of its members since the closure of Meadowbank Stadium and viewed the move to Clermiston as a lifeline.
Meadowbank had placed the container on site without getting proper clearance. However, they feel that this was an honest mistake and did not require the Sheriff officer response.
Tam Smith, Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale club leader said: “This is an example of the council turning on the people they are supposed to represent. It is a sledgehammer to crack a nut situation. Hutchison Vale have displayed a community inclusiveness which this modern council have lost completely.”
The council has stated that Hutchison Vale is illegally subletting the pavilion to Clermiston Vale and Meadowbank Boxing gym. Both clubs have now been asked to find new homes as of August 12.
Hutchison state that they were unaware that allowing Clermiston Vale or Meadowbank to use the vacant space for free was deemed as subletting.
Alasdair Wilson, Clermiston Vale club secretary said: “This is my second season with Clermiston Vale. The majority of the players came from under 20 football. The under 21 league in east
Scotland has been disbanded and these guys just wanted to play football. We offered the chance to play amateur football at a very low cost. We were given access to the football park on a
Saturday afternoon when it wasn’t in use. At no time was there any subletting involved. At a time of rising crime levels and obesity the local councils attitude smacks of hypocrisy.”
A spokesperson for Meadowbank Boxing Gym said: “When Hutchison Vale offered us free facilities we jumped at the opportunity and used club funds to buy the container and place the goals in there for health and safety reasons. We also have exhausted the rest of the club funds to paint the container and whole pavilion to keep it in line with the council restrictions.”
Meadowbank say they are in talks with council officials about finding alternative facilities elsewhere, but questioned why help hadn’t been offered before when they had been forced out of Meadowbank Stadium.
A council spokesperson, said: “The council is in discussions with all relevant parties to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.”