A LOCAL football club’s pitch, which has been submerged with flood water five times in as many years and is unable to be insured as a result, was brought up in Parliament as part of an MP’s bid to secure better support.
Stephanie Peacock, who represents Barnsley East, asked the government what help was available to Worsbrough Bridge Athletic after last month’s Storm Babet caused yet more damage.
They play their home fixtures at the Totally Training Stadium, based on Park Road, just metres away from the River Dove which often breaks its banks during heavy rainfall and is designated as a flood plain.
It costs the club up to £1,000 each time the pitch is flooded – and they now have to factor in potential clean-up costs into the annual budget.
Stephanie said: “Areas across the community were affected by flooding as a result of Storm Babet, particularly in Wombwell, Worsbrough, Darfield, Darton and Lundwood.
“My thoughts are with everyone who has been affected – I know this is a really stressful time.
“I asked the government what support is available for organisations like Worsbrough Bridge AFC, who are regularly affected by flooding but are unable to get adequate insurance as they are not a business or a private home.
“I will continue to ask the government to act on this matter to protect community assets such as the football club that mean so much to local people.”
Chairman Mark Booth, who is commonly recognised as the main man who has turned the club around and away from fears of liquidation, said it was devastating to see their worst fears turned into a reality.
Although he accepts the pitch is a designated flood plain, he wants more support after floods to ensure the club can carry on with its day-to-day business without incurring further costs.
“As flooding didn’t used to be a regular occurrence the council didn’t see it as a priority,” he said.
‘Now, because of the weather, it will become more and more regular – for the fifth year running it struck but earlier than usual this winter.
“It is absolutely soul-destroying and heartbreaking.
“I understand and 100 per cent accept that the pitch is a designated flood plain because we don’t want the flood moving out into Worsbrough.
“But the financial costs of repairing all the damages is down to the club the cost implications to a club of our size is not sustainable.
“The community has been fantastic and it’s been really overwhelming to have so many messages.
“Unfortunately it is not always what you can see but what is left behind that causes the issues.
“We will continue to work with all agencies, funding bodies, councillors and our MP to safeguard the future of our community football club.”