War of words at Bonnyrigg Rose

James Mchale at Bonnyrigg Rose football ground.

James Mchale at Bonnyrigg Rose football ground.

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More details have emerged on improvement works at a football club car park – with the former president rejecting criticism of the project.

As previously reported in the Advertiser, calls had been made by the community for details of £37,500 of public money paid for improvements at Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic Junior Club.

Local residents Ian Baxter and Cameron Scott demanded information on cash paid from the Gourlaw Coal Regeneration Fund – a Midlothian Council-managed pot for communities with drift mines.

It is understood the grant was to be match-funded by the club to turn part of the ground into a car park at New Dundas Park, for use by football fans on match days and members of the public at all other times.

Mr Baxter and Mr Cameron claimed no work had been carried out on the site and used Freedom of Information legislation to demand answers.

But former club president James McHale (55) – who made the funding application in March 2008 – this week insisted the work had been carried out, adding: “My reputation is being tarnished and they [critics] have not done their homework.

“Part of the money was used to remove part of the old pavilion which was burnt in a fire.”

For full story, see The Advertiser, out now.