BOWLERS have reacted angrily to claims from a councillor their green is ‘rubbish’.

Tory Alan Cottam made the comment about Whitehall Bowling Club during Thursday’s full council forum meeting at Blackburn with Darwen Council.

But club member Patricia Turner said his comments were ‘unfair’ at such an early stage in the season.

The controversy started during a discussion on bowling greens in the borough which, as of last season, have to be maintained by members with just a £1,000 grant towards upkeep from Blackburn with Darwen Council.

Whitehall councillor Karimeh Foster had said how good the greens were looking.

But Livesey with Pleasington councillor and deputy mayor Coun Cottam, who is also a keen bowler, said: “I played there recently and I can tell you the greens are rubbish compared to what they used to be.”

Mrs Turner said the club pays £2,500 a year to a private firm which comes in to look after the green.

She said: “We have a professional green keeper who comes in now.

“The green is not perfect but it is fine and we have only been open three weeks after a really wet off-season.

“It just isn’t growing weather at the minute because of all the rain. Give us a chance!

“For him to say that is very unfair. I think it is an awful thing for him to say.

“I think a lot of the time at these big meetings some councillors just say things for effect.

“They are certainly not rubbish as we are looking after them.

“We also have a team of volunteers who work on the gardens around the green.”

Mrs Turner said the club was very well used, with 10 teams playing out of it.

She said: “On some Wednesdays we have matches on all day as we have so many teams.

“The club is so accessible being right off the main road so we do get a lot of people using the green.”