THE Mayor of Padiham will be footing the bill to take away a football’s club rubbish.
But not a penny will come from the public purse. Lifelong club supporter Bob Clark is paying the money from his own pocket and does not want to make a fuss about it.
The Arbories club, run for the town by volunteers, was told by Burnley Council that its few rubbish bags have to be taken away by a commercial skip company, and it has to provide an audit trail and mountain of paperwork — as it is classed as a business.
Club secretary Alan Smith said: “As a club we had not budgeted for a bill like that and are very, very grateful to Bob. He will meet the cost for the first 12 months of the contract out of his own pocket.
“He understands how much the sports ground means to the people of Padiham and understands its history as a war memorial.
“The cost of the collections will have to be built into the club’s budget in future, so we will have to see if we will still be able to continue providing the activities we provide for the town.
“A lot of people have asked about what is happening after reading about it in the Express, and have been sympathetic about the way we have been treated.”
The club was told it faces fines of £300 if it does not comply with the new regime.
Said Mr Smith: “We’re not the sort of club that flouts the law, so we won’t be dumping rubbish, or appearing in court or paying fines. Burnley Council sees it in black and white, and will not change their minds and see the club for what we are, a group of volunteers providing a service for the town.
“It is very easy for them to pick on Padiham Football Club, but they won’t tackle the big boys. They don’t seem to want to deal with the mess left at Perseverance Mill and that really needs sorting.”
The football club has signed a two-year contract for its rubbish removal. Said Mr Clark: “Alan has employed Enviro Skips, a good, reliable local firm to do the job and I will, in the first instance, pay their fee for one year. It is just one of these things that has to be done.”