Decision details

Community Engagement – Wellbeing

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Report to set out proposed fees and charges for key activities at Salt Ayre Sports Centre, Community Pools, Platform, Recreation Grounds and Williamson Park


(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Sands)


Cabinet received a report from the Head of Community Engagement which set out options for increasing the level of fees and charges at Salt Ayre Sports Centre, Community Pools, Recreation Grounds, Williamson Park and Platform.


The options, options analysis, including risk assessment and officer preferred option, were set out in the report as follows:



Option 1

To approve the increase in fees as recommended in the report

Option 2

To approve a different increase (either in percentage or £ income terms).

Option 3

To do nothing and retain the existing fees and charges.


This option makes a small additional contribution to the 2012/13 budget process, whilst retaining fees at competitive levels.



This option potentially allows for a greater increase in revenue, therefore making a greater contribution to the 2012/13 budget process.

This option would mean no price increases for customers (and so the ‘subsidy’ of associated services by all council tax payers would increase, irrespective of whether they use those services or not).


This option could, potentially, have a positive effect on income generation should throughput increase significantly as a result of no increases, but there is no strong evidence to support this.



Any increase in fees is likely to be unpopular with customers.

Alternatively, if an increase less than the 2.6% general inflation assumption is approved, it would not meet the current budget requirements, and revenue raising opportunities would be lost.


An increase in fees above the recommended amount is likely to meet with customer resistance.


This could result in reduction in income generation and as such customer dissatisfaction that may be difficult to respond to.


Lost opportunity to raise additional revenue through fees and charges in areas that may stand an increase.


This option will not meet the current budget requirements, requiring additional income or savings to be generated from other activities / services undertaken by the council.



There is always a risk that customers will choose not to access services especially with any increase in charges.



There is always a risk that customers will choose not to access services if fees are too high or move to one of the key competitors in the district.


There is a risk that even current income levels will fail to be achieved if fees are perceived to be too high.


This option increases the difficulties of securing a viable budget at a time when additional income and savings are required.


There is no compensating increase in throughput and the Council suffers loss of income.


Perceived greater unfairness by tax payers generally.



The officer preferred option was Option 1.  This option allowed for increased revenue whilst retaining fees at affordable and competitive levels. The flexibility for the Head of Community Engagement to reduce charges from their maximum figure in line with particular promotions for activities would help to respond to changes in market demand throughout the year and this was noted on the appendix to the report.


Councillor Sands proposed, seconded by Councillor Hamilton-Cox:-


“(1)      That the recommendations, as set out in the report, be approved.”


Councillors then voted:-


Resolved unanimously:

(1)        That the charges for Salt Ayre Sports Centre, Community Pools, Williamson Park, Parks and Recreation Grounds and the Platform are increased in line with the proposed percentages (rounded to nearest £0.10) and arrangements as set out in Appendix 1 to the report with effect from 1st April 2012, generating potential additional income of £11,300 over and above the minimum budgetary requirement to cover inflationary increases.



Officers responsible for effecting the decision:


Head of Community Engagement


Reasons for making the decision:


The proposed increases were considered to be fair and reasonable and would maintain income whilst retaining fees at affordable and competitive prices.   It was noted that care had been taken in the recommended increases and in particular that increases had been avoided where possible in terms of children and young people. Fees and charges form an integral part of the budget setting process, which in turn relates to the Council's priorities.  Under the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS), income generation is a specific initiative for helping to balance the budget.

Report author: Richard Tulej

Publication date: 20/02/2012

Date of decision: 14/02/2012

Decided at meeting: 14/02/2012 - Cabinet

Effective from: 25/02/2012

Accompanying Documents: