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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 28th March, 2012

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Tourism and Leisure

 

Fees and Charges - Countryside Service

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To seek approval for charges levied at Cosmeston Lakes and Porthkerry Country Parks and The Heritage Coast Centre.

Recommendations

1.             That the charges detailed in Appendices A, B, C and D be approved for implementation in April 2012.

2.             That all charges set be the maximum cost with officers having the ability to reduce for promotions etc. in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Tourism and Leisure.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To reflect costs and market conditions.

2.             To allow prices to be used as a marketing tool.

Background

2.             Admissions and activity charges are normally reviewed for April each year for Countryside Service sites. 

 

Relevant Issues and Options

Cosmeston Medieval Village

3.             In February 2011 Council accepted a package of cost saving measures.  After due consultation etc. substantial changes are currently being made to the operation of the Medieval Village as a result of this.  From early April, the site will be free of charge for entry as an integral part of the Country Park.  Charges will only be levied for additional optional services.  Costumed tours will only continue to be available to school parties.  Audio wands providing interpretation will continue to be available for hire, providing a service for tourists and locals alike.  These are multilingual and were funded through the Council's rural regeneration partnership, Creative Rural Communities.  The majority of users have opted for audio wands since they were earlier introduced in parallel with guided tours. However, reflecting the changes to the Village and as a marketing tool, wand prices are recommended to be reduced.

4.             The Medieval Village has benefited from a substantial amount of income from film production.  It is felt that the unique nature of the village can be further used to generate income and fees have been reviewed to reflect this.

5.             The Council will no longer deliver events at the Medieval Village.  It will now work in partnership with third parties, who will assume the financial risks.  Fees for the hire of the village are set out in Appendix A.

CosmestonLakes Country Park

6.             Appendix B sets out proposed revised fees and charges.  Prices are held in many cases or increased to reflect inflation.  Filming charges have been reviewed to reflect the value of the site.

PorthkerryCountry Park

7.             Proposed reviewed prices are set out in Appendix C. Again, these are largely held or increased to reflect inflation, with filming charges reviewed.

8.             With the benefit of Barry Regeneration Area funding, a new timber lodge building is near completion at the time of writing.  This will be available for education groups but also for commercial and private hire.  Prices are set out in Appendix C, which will need to be closely reviewed after a year of operation.

GlamorganHeritage CoastCentre

9.             Appendix D sets out the limited charges for this site.  Educational talks have been increased to match other sites, having previously been grant subsidised.  It is intended to considerably increase marketing of the bunkhouse facilities, for instance to university groups.  Prices are being held but will again require careful review in time.

 

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

10.        The proposals seek to raise income from users of services which require additional resources to deliver, in a fair and balanced way, whilst maintaining viable competitive services where appropriate.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

11.        There are no legal implications associated with setting prices for the countryside service. 

Crime and Disorder Implications

12.        Appropriate charges allow the Council to provide staff at sites which assist in reducing issues of antisocial behaviour and crime. 

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

13.        Concessionary rates are available.

Corporate/Service Objectives

14.        The operation of the Countryside Sites contributes to the corporate priority to encourage the development of a diversified and sustainable community and to work in partnership with others to provide community, environmental and economic regeneration.

Policy Framework and Budget

15.        This report is a matter for Executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation including Ward Member Consultation

16.        Ward Members for the sites have been consulted, namely:  Councillors Wiliam, Hodges, Charles, E. Williams, Hampton, Sharpe, C Williams, Kelly-Owen and Preston.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee 

17.        Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Bob Guy, Operational Manager - Countryside and Economic Project - Tel: 01446 704623

 

Officers Consulted

Head of Planning and Transportation

Country Parks and Commons Manager

Senior Accountant

Legal Services - Committee Reports

Operational Manager Strategy and Support

Principal Heritage Coast Ranger

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Quick - Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration