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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 January 2007, 08:13 GMT
Petition over football club rent
Supporters of the football club have raised a 1,000-name petition
A petition against a rent increase from 3,000 to 17,000 has been raised by supporters of a town's football club.

Eastbourne Borough FC fans, who have gathered 1,000 signatures, say the borough council's rent increase will put the club's future under threat.

The council said the current annual rent for the Priory Road site was set in 1996 and it wanted a market rent.

Supporters' spokesman Alan Hodges said "an awful lot of unpaid hard voluntary labour" had gone into the site.

The chairman of Eastbourne Borough Supporters' Club said: "They see something hugely successful down here, and it's almost as if they want a piece of the action."

A council spokesman said further meetings would take place and it was hoped an agreement could be made between the council and the club's trustees.

He said the land was rented out to the Langney Playing Fields Committee, and not Eastbourne Borough Football Club, but added that options being considered would give maximum benefit to the lessees, while recognising the football club's contribution to the community.

But club chairman Len Smith said it would be the community that suffered as a result of the proposed rent rise.

"At the moment we spend a lot of money on community facilites... we would have to cut back on the community input," Mr Smith said.

Fans have joined together to oppose the rent rise

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