HELSBY parish council has controversially agreed to grant £100,000 towards a sports club redevelopment.
One councillor resigned following the decision on Monday, accusing the council of not listening to the public.
The Helsby Community Sport Club has a target of £3 million to build a new clubhouse and develop the sports grounds.
Club development manager Michelle Pickstock said: “Things are really starting to move forward now and securing these two grants will hopefully give larger funders the confidence to support our plans. The club chair addressed the meeting and explained that it was a golden opportunity.”
But the decision was met with anger by the public at the meeting who protested against a 47% increase in the parish council precept to help pay for the grant.
And councillor Mike Bellairs emotionally quit the council after the decision was made.
He said: “The precept was excessive but that wasn’t my reason for resigning. That was linked to a loan the council agreed to go for.
“I felt the consultation with residents had not been robust enough. I now feel the parish council is not listening to its residents and not given them the opportunity through communication or consultation.”
The council last year held several consultation days when more than 200 people voted for increasing the precept to pay for the loan.
It is thought the 20-year loan, which is likely to come from The Public Works Loan Board, will be conditional.
These conditions might include lower rates for Helsby residents, an office for the council clerk and an assurance the money would be recovered it the club was ever sold.
Chairman of the parish council finance committee Terry O’Neill said: “If people want the facilities in the village unfortunately we have to pay for them. There’s a mountain to climb to get the rest of the finances in place.”