THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
CABINET: 4TH MARCH, 2013
REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT): 12TH FEBRUARY, 2013
“ FEES AND CHARGES - COUNTRYSIDE SERVICES (DDS) -
The report detailed the proposed charges to be levied at Cosmeston Lakes, Porthkerry Country Park and the Glamorgan Heritage Coast Centre which were contained in Appendices A. B, C and D to the report. The suggested implementation date of April 2013 was also recommended.
The Operational Manager for Countryside and Economic Projects presented the report outlining that for Cosmeston Lakes Country Park the prices had been held in many cases or increased to broadly reflect inflation. For Porthkerry Country Park these had largely been held or increased to reflect inflation. With regard to the Glamorgan Heritage Coast Centre charges for educational sessions had been increased reflecting the fact that the sessions lasted up to a full day as opposed to the country parks where the basic session was for a few hours.
Car park charges were also proposed to be increased in order to maintain a proportionate contribution towards the costs of maintaining the broader facility.
In considering the report, local Members referred to the car parking charges at Porthkerry Country Park and the fact that in their view they were inappropriate particularly as no car parking charges were being made at Cosmeston. Of note was the fact that visitors to Porthkerry only attended the facilities for a small amount of time as opposed to much longer attendance at the other parks. Members were advised that the instigation of car parking charges at Porthkerry had been in response to traffic management issues, in particular to ensure that emergency services were not blocked from accessing houses served via the park, and park users by inappropriate car parking. Income from car parking, charged only at peak times, is used to employ dedicated staff to manage parking. In general Members agreed that the Council should consider other ways of addressing the traffic management issues at Porthkerry rather than setting car parking fees.
With regard to the Glamorgan Heritage Coast Centre some Members considered that an increase in car parking charges was also unacceptable but were reminded that the revenue received was used to enhance the facilities at the site.
During discussions reference was also made to an error in Appendix C in that the proposed charge for ranger led walks (adult) at Porthkerry Country Park for 2013/14 should read £4.25.
Having fully considered the report and following a vote it was
(1) T H A T Cabinet be requested to review the traffic management arrangements in Porthkerry with a view to reducing or ending the car parking charges in Porthkerry Country Park.
(2) T H A T notwithstanding recommendation (1) above the remaining fees and charges as contained within the Appendices to the report, together with the amendment to ranger led walks (adult) Porthkerry Country Park for 2013/14 of £4.25 be recommended to Cabinet for approval.
(3) T H A T all charges set be the maximum cost with the Director of Development Services having the ability to reduce for promotions.
(4) T H A T the above recommendations be referred to Cabinet for consideration for approval.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) To consider alternative arrangements in light of the Committees concerns.
(2) To reflect costs and market conditions.
(3) To allow prices to be used as a marketing tool.
(4) In order for the charges to receive approval.”
Attached as Appendix - Report to Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment): 12th February 2013