Pricing policy ‘uniformity’ for Council’s sport

Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre. INBM21-16s
Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre. INBM21-16s

Causeway Coast and Glens Council has approved a new draft Pricing Policy for Sport and Wellbeing.

Expected to be implemented in September 2016, the new policy will ensure ‘uniformity’ throughout the leisure facilities within the borough.

Raised at last Tuesday’s Leisure and Development Committee meeting, Wendy McCullough, Head of Sport and Wellbeing explained: “Existing price tariffs across the Sport and Wellbeing (SWB) department have evolved over many years from the legacy Councils that constitute the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

“Whilst there are similarities in some charges, there are also significant variations. Equally the associated policies differ in a number of factors.”

It was revealed that a working group had carried out a review of the legacy positions in local leisure centres, recreation centres and outdoor facilities and have disclosed four main objectives: value for money, access, consistency and comparability.

She continued: “The conclusions drawn by the working group in relation to the current situation were that fees differ across the legacy areas and raise issues of inequality and a lack of fairness for the user. Fees are also complex and confusing for the customer.

“Councils traditionally raised prices each year, normally from 1st April at around the rate of inflation regardless of any benchmarks and regardless of any trends in customer usage. The agreed desirable outcome of the review by the working group was that the future should provide clear, simple charges and a unifying pricing policy.”

A fees and charges workshop was also held with members and the main findings of the review were presented.

She concluded: “It is plan that during the summer recess the draft policy will be screened for equality impact and officers will compile a further report for Council’s August committee.

“Also included in the August report for members approval will be proposals for charges.”