Teams banned from changing rooms

A LONG-RUNNING Nailsea football club has had to find a new base after all teams were banned from using a leisure centre’s changing rooms.

Selkirk United had been using the facilities at Scotch Horn Leisure Centre for 17 years up until the current season.

During the summer break, club bosses received a letter from the management of the Brockway centre saying football teams using the adjacent pitches would no longer be allowed to use the changing facilities.

First team manager Tom Horton said: “They are effectively quashing all the local sport that would take place on the field.

“It is really annoying and we have had to find somewhere else to play our games now.”

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A statement from North Somerset Council revealed the teams were banned from the changing rooms due to issues including inappropriate language and the rooms being left in a mess.

At the end of last season, Tom and other representatives of Selkirk United took part in meetings with the management of the centre and also a council staff member to discuss the club’s use of the facilities.

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Prior to this, Tom had been making sure the changing rooms were left clean after the club members used them. This was done after a member of the public had previously made a complaint.

Tom, aged 28 from Yatton, said: “I made sure it was presentable after each time we used it.

“At the meeting before the summer they said there was no longer a problem and that they didn’t want to lose the local sports clubs.

“When we received the letter I was dumbfounded.

“The club is full of local people - there are youngsters coming through and many generations of the same families have played for us.”

Selkirk United, which has a first team in the 1st division of the Weston District League and a reserve team in the fourth division, now uses the sports pitches at Golden Valley Playing Field off Nailsea Park and uses the changing rooms at Nailsea School.

A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “There were a number of issues with teams using the changing rooms, including mess, inappropriate language, and on at least one occasion players walking through the centre with muddy boots.

“We need to make sure the centre is fit for all users and this has meant that we have withdrawn the use of the changing rooms to football teams using the outside pitch.”

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