Tamworth Borough Council have cancelled a popular local 6 a side football league because, say it’s organisers, the Council Executive didn’t want their malpractice exposed.
Leisure leagues, the U.K.’s largest provider of small sided leagues, operate not-for-profit competitions at hundreds of schools, academies and universities across Britain.
They booked pitches at Tamworth Enterprise College in mid-August but were told by the councils legal division that they couldn’t use the pitches at all, giving the company less than 48 hours’ notice of the decision, thus denying hundreds of local football players the chance to get vital exercise and improve their physical and mental health.
The company provided booking forms to the council and have the bookings confirmed by Sarah McGrandle, the Assistant Director of Leisure at Tamworth Borough Council.
However, in a dramatic turnaround earlier this month, the council solicitor said that the bookings were cancelled because no booking had ever been made.
Leisure leagues lawyers quickly produced documents which confirmed the bookings had not only been made, they had also been confirmed by Mrs. McGrandle. The council refused to comment.
Leisure leagues Head of Media Andy Thorley said: “We know the council confirmed bookings, so the reason they gave for cancelling our hire was simply a smokescreen. The real reason was that we were exposing, through our investigative journalism and TV documentary, serious malpractice within the Council and TBC clearly acted in a fit of pique and were terrified about what we were about to expose so decided to cancel our booking and hope we go away.”
Leisure Leagues confirm they tried repeatedly to talk to the council about their findings on over 20 occasions between August 18 and September 4 of the council refused every request to talk, and refused even to communicate with Leisure Leagues staff, seemingly because they were disinterested in hearing about their own employee’s malpractice.
Mr. Thorley said: “You can’t go around cancelling legitimate hiring’s, and breaching contracts just because you fancy being exposed to the electorate. Council leaders have an absolute responsibility because they are handling public money, paid for by the hard-working efforts of the taxpayer. It won’t have escaped anybody’s notice that cancelling our hiring, and losing our significant income stream, when the council has announced a huge deficit, will be a bill which falls again on local people, whilst the council leaders who act with such impunity, still pick up their pay cheques each month. It is simply unacceptable behaviour.”Back to Blog