Midlothian all-season pitch dismissed because it “could lead more groups to ask for help”

Calls for an all-season football pitch in a Midlothian town have been rejected over fears more communities will seek help.

Midlothian councilors voted not to approve a motion by Councilor Kelly Parry for her local club to receive help after posting footage of a waterlogged pitch that saw games suspended.

Instead, they supported an amendment agreeing to re-examine all sports facilities in Midlothian.

Councilor Parry urged other elected members to support her call for proposals to create an all-weather 11-a-side pitch for the Loanhead club.

She praised the club for its inclusiveness and work in the community, adding that they had been lobbying for years for a suitable pitch.

And she accused the council’s labor administration of “throwing” the issue “into the high grass.”

The virtual council meeting learned that a review of sports facilities across the county had been produced in 2016 and highlighted the need for an artificial pitch in Loanhead, but no progress was made.

Loanhead Miners Youth Football Club shared footage of their pitch on Twitter two weeks ago, showing it waterlogged and unplayable.

Waterlogged football pitchimage Tweeted by Loanhead Football Club.

Councilor Parry’s motion was seconded by Councilor Debbi McCall.

However, Councilor John Hackett proposed an amendment that would see all sports facilities reviewed rather than singling out Loanhead.

He said: “This (the motion) could introduce successive motions to other areas that need improvement, Mayfield and Easthouses need improvement.

“I don’t disagree with the sentiment of the motion, I think it’s fair to single out one particular community when there are so many others that need support?”

“There are other communities that also deserve this investment, I think it is unfair to choose one community over others.”

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And Councilor Stephen Curran supported Councilor Hackett’s amendment saying he was uncomfortable with the “localism” of the motion.

However, Councilor Parry did not apologize for bringing forward the motion on behalf of her community.

She said: “The community is frustrated to hear that we will do this and that and that just never happens.”

Midlothian West City Councilor Russell Imrie said at the meeting he was “disappointed”.

However, he was told that Councilor Pauline Winchester (Cons) was willing to support the motion, but time constraints stopped that.

Councilor Colin Cassidy defended any suggestion that the motion was political, saying, “Councilor Parry is not trying to make a political point here, she is fighting for her community.

Councilors Imrie and Winchester voted in favor of the amendment to review all sports facilities, defeating the motion by 9 votes to 7.

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