MEMBERS of a local football club were surprised at a council member’s suggestion to use their premises as a warm centre.
Mile Oak Football Club is in talks with Brighton and Hove City Council to make greater use of the Pavilion building between Graham Avenue and College Close in Portslade.
The football club has a license to share the building with Pavilion Nursery and a table tennis club. The nursery is scheduled to move to the Mile Oak Primary School site next January.
Mile Oak FC youth secretary Karl Gillingham was surprised to learn of a proposal to use buildings as a warming center for people struggling to pay their energy bills.
The proposal was made by independent councilor Anne Pissaridou, one of two representatives for North Portslade.
Cllr Pissaridou said she had written to Greens Council leader Phelim Mac Cafferty to use the building as a social space where people could warm up and have “a cup of tea and a chat”.
Mr Gillingham said the club had a 25-year license to use the building for its weekend and weekday football matches and was negotiating with council to extend that use.
With 21 youth teams and the growing popularity of women’s football, the pavilion is the ideal base for the club’s 350 members.
He said: “As part of these discussions (with the Council) the club has confirmed that we wish to support the community with various projects that may be required during our license term and as discussions continue a full project plan will be shared.
“We are in a great position to do amazing things for the community as a volunteer club. This includes continuing our relationship with the table tennis club and supporting their needs.
“It is disappointing that the club was not contacted by Councilor Anne Pissaridou before she requested the proposal be made public.
“Not only because the information was inaccurate because the nursery didn’t leave as early as October, but because the club is in a great position to use its network to work with the community on projects like this.”
Mr Gillingham said Cllr Pissaridou was present at a meeting with the council on another matter but the pavilion was not discussed.
He added: “The club definitely wants to support community programs and projects. We have done this over the past few years and particularly during Covid by arranging and donating to the Purple People Kitchen.
“However, we cannot confirm support for Councilwoman Anne Pissaridou’s proposal as we have not been consulted.”
Mr Gillingham invited anyone interested in knowing more about the club’s plans to email email@example.com.
Another independent councilor, Peter Atkinson, who also represents North Portslade, was also surprised by the announcement as he is in regular contact with the club.
He said: “What Cllr Pissaridou inexplicably fails to mention is that for a number of months the football club have been discussing with the council expanding the use of this building to provide facilities for young footballers – the club have just teamed up with Mile Oak Wanderers.
“Both Cllr Pissaridou and I were involved in these discussions. Before contacting the City Council to propose what she has she could certainly have done Mile Oak FC the courtesy to discuss it with them as they will most likely be the main managers of this building in the future.
“I’m sure the club would like to support community projects, as it has for some time, such as B. Multiple donations from food banks over the past four years.”
He suggested that Hazelholt and other community-owned assisted living homes could provide warm spaces.
Cllr Pissaridou has requested that her heartfelt hub proposal be brought to the Council’s Health and Welfare Committee and is awaiting feedback from Cllr Mac Cafferty.
She said: “I was quite surprised to hear that Mile Oak Football Club (MOFC) is upset that we could use this pavilion as warm spaces for our local residents.
“I hosted a very friendly meeting with MOFC this week about the Mile Oak recreation site renovation. They were aware of and very supportive of my proposed initiative and we agreed to work together in the future for the benefit of our local community.
“Hazelholt is community serviced accommodation – it’s people’s homes and so the communal lounge would not be suitable as a focal point for families etc. And there can be security issues with the door opening systems.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/21488208.mile-oak-football-club-talks-council-building/?ref=rss Mile Oak Football Club is negotiating with the City Council for construction