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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment): 12th February, 2013

 

Report of the Director of Development Services

 

Fees and Charges – Countryside Service

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To seek endorsement for charges to be levied at Cosmeston Lakes and Porthkerry Country Parks and the Glamorgan Heritage Coast Centre.

Recommendations

1.             That the charges detailed in Appendices A, B, C and D, for implementation in April 2013 be agreed.

2.             That all charges set be the maximum cost with the Director of Development Service having the ability to reduce for promotions.

3.             That the committee endorses the report and refers the same to Cabinet for approval

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To reflect costs and market conditions.

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

3.             To approved the charges

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.             From June 2012, the site became free of charge for entry as an integral part of the Country Park.  Charges are levied for additional optional services.  Costumed tours were initially only offered to school and other groups by prior arrangement.  However, they have now been reintroduced as the Village has become re-established sooner than anticipated after the restructure.

4.             The 2012/13 prices of these tours was set using delegated powers.

5.             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.  In line with practise at many other competitor sites, a new lower charge has been introduced for non filming preparation days.

6.             The council no longer delivers events at the Medieval Village.  It now works in partnership with third parties, who will assume the financial risks.  Fees for the hire of the Village are set out in Appendix A which has been made more flexible to reduce risk for third parties.

Cosmeston Lakes Country Park

7.             Appendix B sets out proposed revised fees and charges.  Prices are held in many cases or increased to broadly reflect inflation.

Porthkerry Country Park

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

Glamorgan Heritage Coast

9.             Appendix D sets out the limited charges for this site. Charges for educational sessions have been increased reflecting the fact that sessions last up to a full day (whereas at Country Parks a basic session is a few hours). Car park charges are increased in order to maintain a proportionate contribution towards the costs of maintaining the broader facility

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

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.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

11.        Charges seek to ensure financial sustainability of the sites.  All sites in this report are used to promote environmental awareness and education.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

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

Crime and Disorder Implications

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

14.        Concessionary rates are available.

Corporate/Service Objectives

15.        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

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

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

17.        Ward Members were consulted on the proposed changes.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

18.        Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

None

 

Contact Officer

Bob Guy, Operational Manager for Countryside and Economic Projects

 

Officers Consulted

Principal Accountant

Legal Services

Country Parks Manager

Principal Heritage Coast Ranger

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services

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