I am backing Chatteris Football Club in its bid to score a reduction in its business rates. The club, which is riding high in the Kershaw Senior A-league having beaten the table leaders at the weekend, is struggling financially. I met with club representatives Lester Kent and Steve Snell to discuss the issue of business rates and other expenses.

The club currently pays out over £900 a month including £217 on business rates, £454 on fuel and £200 on insurance.

Income is limited to players’ subs, bar takings, sponsorship and fundraising and as a result the club is finding it difficult to make ends meet.

We discussed the club’s options, including becoming a Community Amateur Sports Club, which would enable them to get their business rates reduced by 80 per cent.

The 80 per cent reduction is automatic and Fenland District Council has the discretion to waive the remaining 20 per cent. The club would have to formally apply for this. Not having to pay business rates will save the club around £2,500 a year.

We also discussed various funding options to help the club and also the possibility of using solar panels or a wind turbine to help reduce energy bills. I will be contacting Fenland District Council to find out if there is any money left-over from the Tesco cash I helped secure for the town.

There are pockets of funding out there and I am currently drawing up a list to help clubs like Chatteris FC get a share of this money.

We are one of the most poorly funded areas but I want to change that. I am creating a list of funding organisations, together with an ‘aid memoir’, to ensure clubs make their bids to the most appropriate one. This will hopefully help our area to become one of the best funded.

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