Council slammed after spending £900,000 on cricket scoreboard

A view of the Scoreboard during the Fifth NatWest One Day International at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 5, 2012. See PA story CRICKET England. Photo credit should read: Rui Vieira/PA Wire.
A view of the Scoreboard during the Fifth NatWest One Day International at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 5, 2012. See PA story CRICKET England. Photo credit should read: Rui Vieira/PA Wire.

A COMMUNITY leader has slammed a decision by the county council to spend £900,000 on a new electronic scoreboard for Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club.

Labour councillor John Peck says the move by Nottinghamshire County Council is a waste of taxpayers’ money.

“It’s claimed Notts would not have got the lucrative Ashes Test matches in 2013 and 2015 without the county council paying for the scoreboard,” he said.

“That’s nonsense. Those Ashes series and other internationals are of such financial importance to the club, I am certain they would have found the money from elsewhere.

“Taxpayers will be aggrieved their hard earned money is being spent this way when jobs are being lost and services are cut.

“If there really is a spare £900,000 going spare, there are grass roots sports clubs in Clipstone, Bilsthorpe and Edwinstowe where they’re crying out for a tiny fraction of this money.”

The move was given the green light, though Labour and Liberal Democrats opposed it.

John Cottee, chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s culture committee, defended the decision and said the Ashes Test matches would give a huge economic boost to the county.

“The scoreboard will cost £1.8m, the cricket club is providing £900,000 and we are providing a further £900,000 but the money will be paid back over 15 years,” he said.

Coun Cottee said the scoreboard investment would be returned from community benefits, advertising and branding opportunities worth.

“This includes a three-year £300,000 future programmes project in Hawtonville - which has the highest depravation in the county after it was let down by 28 years of Labour in charge,” he added.

Mr Cottee added that the Ashes Test matches would be worth around £30m to the local economy over four years and cash-strapped sports clubs can apply for £1m worth of Olympic legacy money until December.