The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Cabinet Meeting: 19 October, 2015
Report of the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services
Jenner Park Stadium: Interim Management Arrangements, Fees and Clubhouse Use
Purpose of the Report
1. To seek approval of interim management arrangements for Jenner Park Stadium following the completion of the new 3G pitch, to set interim prices whilst discussions continue on the long-term management arrangements, and to agree temporary accommodation arrangements for Barry Town Utd.
1. That the Council's Visible Services and Transport Division manages the new facilities at Jenner Park on an interim basis whilst consideration is being given to other possible long term management arrangements.
2. That the fees and charges proposed for the use of Jenner Park attached at Appendix A to this report be approved as interim charges.
3. That Cabinet agree to grant a temporary licence to Barry Town Utd for the use of the lounge area at the Jenner Park Clubhouse for a period of up to 6 months at an all-inclusive cost of £250 per month.
4. That delegated authority is granted to the Director of Environment and Housing Services and the Head of Legal Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services to agree the terms and conditions of the licence.
5. That any commercial bookings for the new facility are approved in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services.
6. That the charges suggested for floodlighting in Appendix A be approved with delegated authority granted to the Director of Environment and Housing Services in consultation with the Head of Finance and the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services to reduce these charges should new configurations of lighting become available.
7. That a further report be provided to Cabinet on proposals for the long-term management of the Jenner Park Stadium.
Reasons for the Recommendations
1. To enable Jenner Park Stadium to be immediately operational following the completion of the new 3G pitch.
2. To provide time for existing users to adapt to the new charges and to enable community use of the stadium to commence as soon as possible.
3. To assist Barry Town Utd in complying with the accommodation requirements for the Tier 2 licence of the Welsh League to which they were recently promoted.
4. To ensure a timely agreement of the licence details.
5. To ensure that accessibility to the new facility remains a priority.
6. To ensure that floodlighting is charged at cost and that flexibility is given should new, more efficient, lighting arrangements become available.
7. To allow detailed negotiations regarding future management arrangements to continue to an appropriate conclusion.
2. Cabinet approved the construction of a new 3G pitch at Jenner Park Stadium and 3G 5-a-side pitches at the Colcot Sports Centre at its meeting on 11th May 2015 (Minute C2774 refers). In addition, approval was also given to seek a contract variation with Parkwood Community Leisure to operate these facilities.
3. The discussions with Parkwood are ongoing but interim management arrangements will be needed as the construction of the pitch will be completed before it will be possible to conclude these negotiations.
4. This report details a proposal for a temporary licence to be issued to Barry Town Utd to use the clubhouse lounge area, on an interim basis, similar to that agreed by Cabinet at its meeting of 16th June 2014 (Minute C2357 refers). Whilst the final use arrangements for this part of the clubhouse and the bar and skittle room areas are still under consideration it would be prudent to accede to a request from Barry Town Utd to use a section of the building to support their higher league football status at this time, rather than to leave the building empty.
Relevant Issues and Options
5. It is proposed that the Council's Visible Services and Transport Division assumes interim management responsibilities to enable the facility to open immediately after construction of the new 3G pitch (anticipated during early November 2015).
6. The Director of Environment and Housing Services has commenced consultation with existing users of the facility and relevant Council officers to establish an initial programme of activities. Any vacant hire periods would be available for local clubs and organisations, with priority given to block bookings rather than one-off bookings; although one-off bookings would be permitted where the programme allows. All block bookings will be taken on the understanding that they are for an initial period only, which will be for a minimum of six months and are likely to be subject to change once a management agreement is in place. All new hirers will also be advised that priority will always be given for Barry Town United first team fixtures. Any requests for commercial hire of the facilities will be discussed with the Cabinet member for Visible and Leisure Services prior to being accepted.
7. A suggested list of maximum fees and charges (inclusive of VAT) for the new facility is attached at Appendix A. Maximum prices allow the Council to reduce prices in order to sell unpopular or vacant slots at a reduced cost in order to maximise both income and usage. Members will note that interim prices have been suggested for existing users to enable them to adjust to the new charges. These will be reviewed at the end of the current financial year. The prices for new hirers have been benchmarked against the 3G pitch provided at Cowbridge School that currently charges £70 per hour for a full pitch, inclusive of lighting when required. The pitch at Barry will cost slightly less per hour but will cost more with floodlighting due to the floodlighting system currently installed at Jenner Park. The current floodlighting system at Jenner Park was designed to cater for European football requirements and is more expensive to operate than the system provided currently at other 3G sites such as Cowbridge School.
8. In terms of costs to the current main users; the Intersensory Bike Club, Barry and Vale Harriers and Barry Town Utd, only the latter two clubs are affected.
9. The current annual licence fee for Barry and Vale Harriers roughly equates to a cost per hour, with or without lighting of £10. This is a very low price when you consider that any athletics activities will prevent use of the 3G pitch on safety grounds. A slightly higher fee of £20 per hour is therefore suggested.
10. As part of the work that is ongoing at Jenner Park, the athletics jumping areas are to be refurbished and this will provide the club with the improved jumping facilities in addition to the retained running track. Officers are also investigating alternative sites for athletics throwing events and are doing this in consultation with the Barry and Vale Harriers.
11. The fee for Barry Town Utd is proposed at £30 per hour, as opposed to the commercial hire rate of £50 per hour, for a number of reasons. Firstly, as a higher level Welsh League club, Barry Town Utd require use of the pitch for warming up and cooling down periods before and after games, meaning that a booking of anything up to 4 hours could be required per game. Also, the Club now have multiple teams including youth, women and disabled, and these teams will be required to pay the same fees. All Barry Town Utd clubs will also now be required to pay for training on the pitch, which was not the case previously.
12. It should be noted that all these changes are for an interim period to allow current activities to take place and for additional use to be encouraged. They may not reflect the final charges that will be proposed under the long term management arrangements that will be put before Cabinet within the next 6 months.
13. The suggested costs for floodlighting have been calculated by the Council's Energy Manager but are subject to change as work is currently ongoing to investigate if it is possible to reconfigure the switching equipment associated with the lighting to use fewer lights, whilst also producing enough light to play competitive sport.
14. As part of their tier two Welsh League Licence, Barry Town Utd are required to host visiting teams both before and after games. This can take place 'off site' but such arrangements are not necessarily appropriate for higher league football games. The Club have therefore requested use of the clubhouse lounge on match days, on a similar basis to that agreed by Cabinet at its meeting of 16th June 2014. The fee at that time for a 4 week period was £100.
15. As the request is now for a period of up to 6 months any fee must be set so as to at least recover any running costs that will be incurred. The building is not in the best state of repair though it is safe and functional. It is therefore suggested that a reasonable charge per month for a licence to have exclusive use of this space would be £250. Any decorative work required to the internal space would have to be funded by Barry Town Utd, with Council officers ensuring that all the necessary building safety certificates are in place.
16. It is proposed that the terms of conditions of the building licence is delegated to the Director responsible for this service area, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services. A plan showing the proposed area of the clubhouse for the licence is attached at Appendix B.
17. Funding is available to undertake refurbishment work to the Clubhouse building but until the future long term management arrangements are determined it would not be appropriate to progress any such work. The reason being that Parkwood or any other possible partner will require an input into the future design of the internal spaces to ensure that any available income is maximised.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
18. Additional staffing requirements are likely to be needed to facilitate an in-house management arrangement although use will be made of security staff based at Court Road Depot and Environment and Housing administration staff for bookings to reduce these to a minimum. The possibility of using C1V for bookings/ payments will also be explored.
19. All income and expenditure associated with the immediate operation of the facility will be contained within the Visible Services and Transportation budget.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
20. The provision of a local facility reduces the need to travel, hence reducing the carbon footprint. In addition, by looking at reconfiguring the floodlighting system, it is hoped to be able to reduce the energy consumption within the stadium.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
21. Contracts of hire will be required with new users of the stadium and existing licences will need to be re-evaluated in relation to the new facilities provided.
Crime and Disorder Implications
22. The provision of quality leisure facilities will serve to reduce crime in the area and provide security for the facility.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
23. The new 3G pitch at Jenner Park Stadium will help to address a number of sporting and recreational needs for a wide range of sectors within the community and wider Vale area.
24. The provision of the new facilities within Jenner Park are in accordance with the Council's corporate and service objectives for providing quality leisure opportunities.
Policy Framework and Budget
25. This is a matter for Executive decision.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
26. No Ward Member consultation has taken place in relation to this report as Jenner Park has country wide significance. The current users of Jenner Park are being consulted on these, and future management arrangements and this will continue to be the case.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
27. Economy and Environment.
David Knevett, Operational Manager - Leisure Services.
Financial Accountant - Visible Services
Head of Visible Services and Transport
Miles Punter, Director of Environment and Housing