Rent increase threat

First published in Search

The FUTURE of Harrow's bowls clubs is under threat following confirmation by the Council that their rent will be increased.

Harrow Bowls Club could see its £750 rent and £4000 maintanance costs double if the plans go ahead.

Mike Rosenthal, from the club, said: "The council want us to run the club like a business, which it really should not be. It is the smaller clubs that will suffer. They cannot afford the rent."

If the club cannot attract new members, the membership fee will have to rise to compensate but many are living off pensions and may not welcome the extra costs.

Conservative councillor Susan Hall, cabinet member for the environment, blamed the decision on financial problems caused by the previous Labour council but offered to give clubs a two-year rent free period.

She said: "This is an unfortunate position but we are doing all we can to help the bowls clubs and assist them in their future development."

Harrow bowls club already relies on fundraising events to meet its costs and will struggle to make up the difference.

Mr Rosenthal is worried that the smaller clubs in Harrow will not survive after the increase comes into force in 2009.

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