A NEW row has flared up over Hyndburn Council's decision to sponsor Accrington Stanley in a £45,000 deal.
The council secured the three-year deal with the club in June, following its promotion to the Nationwide Conference, and said it had the support of both parties. But during a meeting last week, opposition Labour councillors said that there should have been more consultation with the taxpayers over the deal and questioned whether the money could have been put towards other causes.
Councillor Dave Parkins said that he was "disgusted" the deal had been forced through using the emergency powers procedure.
He added: "It is a lot of money and there are other things in the borough that need doing. I have had so many phone calls and letters about this. It is wrong that the public of Hyndburn have got to pay for something they may not even support. Accrington Stanley got where they were without the help of this council and using the taxpayer's money like this is not on."
Councillor Malcolm Pritchard said: "I find it totally disgusting that out of the blue the council leader can find £45,000 like this. Does he not think it would be better spent on the diseased trees we have in the borough instead? I would also like to know how much business revenue has come into Hyndburn since the council logo has gone onto the shirts."
But Councillor John Griffiths, Cabinet portfolio holder for corporate governance, said: "How many times have people asked us 'Where is Hyndburn?' To get publicity like this is worth its weight in gold."
Councillor Peter Britcliffe, leader of the council, said: "One of the reasons for a speedy decision was so that the logo could be printed on the shirts in time for the start of the season, so it had to go through emergency powers. We consulted with the leader and deputy leader of your party and I understood that we had cross-party support.
"One of the reasons we advertised with Stanley was we wanted to invest in the community. Accrington Stanley is something of which Hyndburn can be proud."