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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 24 March, 2014

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sport Development

 

Jenner Park - Higher Welsh League Football Users - Renewal of Licences, 2014 / 2015

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To agree the renewal of user licences for the playing of football at Jenner Park for the 2014 / 2015 season.

Recommendations

1.         That Cabinet agree to the renewal of licences for the playing of football at Jenner Park for the 2014 / 2015 season for Barry Town United and Rhoose FC, at a minimum rate of £288.00 per match.

2.         That delegated authority be granted to the Director of Visible Services and Housing and the Head of Legal Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sport Development to agree the terms and conditions of the user agreements.

3.         That Cabinet be provided with a further report during 2014 / 2015 detailing the various options available for the future operation and management of the Jenner Park Clubhouse, football pitch and other sporting facilities.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place to secure the continuation of higher league football at Jenner Park for the 2014 / 2015 season.  

2.         To ensure that the terms of the licence agreements are appropriate.

3.         To permit Cabinet the opportunity to consider a range of options for the future management and use of Jenner Park Stadium and its facilities.

Background

2.         In previous years there has been an annual bidding process for primary users for the playing of football at Jenner Park with local football clubs invited to submit bids on a season by season basis with a value in excess of £270.00.   There have been various problems with this process, not least that on occasions, the primary user had failed to pay the requisite fees running up considerable debts.

3.         For the 2012 / 2013 season there were no acceptable bids received and as a consequence it was necessary for delegated powers to be obtained to allow negotiations to take place with a supporters group who were, at the time, covering some of the financial obligations of Barry Town AFC.  The Barry Town FC Supporters Club were granted primary user status in 2012 / 2013 and paid a fee of £275.00 per match, incurring no debts during this time.  Also, later in this season, Rhoose FC were agreed as an additional user also paying £275.00 per match, again no debts were incurred by this arrangement.

4.         At its meeting of 22nd April 2013, the previous payment records of both Barry Town FC Supporters Club and Rhoose FC were recognised by Cabinet, in addition to the fact that Barry Town AFC were at the time playing in the 1st Division of the Welsh League and Rhoose FC the 3rd Division of the Welsh League.  Both teams were therefore playing higher league football.

5.         Cabinet approved annual licences for both Clubs (Minute C1312 refers), with Barry Town AFC being permitted to play at Jenner Park by the Barry Town FC Supporters Club (named licence holders) as primary user with Rhoose FC designated as secondary user.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.         Since the previous report there have been a number of developments in respect to both the clubhouse at Jenner Park and the status of Barry Town AFC.  Firstly, Barry Town AFC were pulled out of the 1st Division of the Welsh League by their owner with the playing side of the Club later being given permission through the High Court to start a new team, Barry Town United, in the 3rd Division of the Welsh League.  This Club were still linked to the Barry Town FC Supporters Club, hence was still permitted to play at Jenner Park under the terms of the current licence.

7.         In September 2013 the lease appertaining to the Clubhouse was returned to the Vale of Glamorgan Council and whilst at the time there were some problems with the facilities, in particular the changing rooms, as a result of this transition, these problems are now well on their way to being resolved.

8.         Cabinet received a report at its meeting of 18th November 2013 detailing the position with the Clubhouse at that time and options for the future use of the Clubhouse are currently under consideration.  This will be subject to a further report to Cabinet prior to the start of the 2014 / 2015 football season.  (Minute C2091 refers)

9.         Due to the problems experienced by the Council, partly as a result of the previous lease arrangement for the Clubhouse, it is very important that all future potential options for this building and its facilities are carefully considered prior to any long term decisions being made.  Jenner Park is the Council's premier sporting venue with considerable history and a prominent place within the local community and wider Vale.  It would not be appropriate to rush any decisions as regards its longer term future, though it is necessary to take a decision on the future arrangements for the playing of football for the next 12 months.  Hence it is suggested that renewal of the existing licence holders on similar terms to 2013 / 2014 be agreed whilst all matters relating to Jenner Park are receiving due and full consideration.

10.      The licence fees would be increased by 3% to cover inflation to a cost of £288.00 per match, with, as before, additional fees charged for floodlighting.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

11.      The licence arrangement will guarantee income of approximately £14k for the 2014 / 2015 football season.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

12.      The renewal of licences will permit higher league football to be played at Jenner Park and it is hoped that this will aspire local footballers to achieve higher playing standards.  Games at higher league level also attract support and are a useful social activity which helps to generate interest within the local community and wider afield.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

13.      The appointment of higher league football users at Jenner Park for the 2014 / 2015 season will be strictly on a pay as you play basis, with payment due in advance.  This is with the exception of floodlighting which will be charged in arrears and in addition to the relevant pitch fee.

14.      The terms and conditions of the user agreements will be set by the Director of Visible Services and Housing and the Head of Legal Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sport Development.

Crime and Disorder Implications

15.      There are no crime and disorder implications associated with the report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

16.      The proposals do not offer an opportunity for any new football clubs to play their football at Jenner Park during the 2014 / 2015 season, however, they do ensure the playing of higher league football at a premier facility for two local clubs and also guarantee a set amount of income for the period.

Corporate/Service Objectives

17.      Environment - Outcome: Current and future generations of Vale residents and visitors enjoy the built and natural environments of the Vale of Glamorgan and actively protect and maintain them.

Policy Framework and Budget

18.      This report is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

19.      No ward Member consultation has taken place as Jenner Park is unique in terms of the Council's sporting facilities.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20.      Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Phil Beaman, Operational Manager, Parks and Grounds Maintenance

Telephone: 01446 709 543

 

Officers Consulted

Visible Services Accountant

Operational Manager, Legal - Committee Reports

Head of Finance and Audit

 

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter - Director of Visible Services and Housing

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